Elvis Presley had his first hit in 1956 with “Heartbreak Hotel”, made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and was featured on the cover of the May issue of Harley-Davidson’s “The Enthusiast” motorcycle magazine.
In 1956, the minimum wage was raised to $1. With the beginning purchase price of a Panhead running about $1123 before options that year, you would be investing over 6 months’ wages on your new bike purchase. The gas price at the time though was only 22 cents a gallon so you could take off on a nice long afternoon ride for your buck’s worth of gas.
By 1956 foot shifters had become standard issue and the earlier tank shifts, as this bike is outfitted, had become special order only. Only 224 of the FLH high compression solo models would be produced in 1956 in this configuration. This particular example was restored as a 50’s period custom. It has no shortage of chrome accessories and its pearl yellow/white paint, colored hand grips and kick pedal, and “Speed King” saddlebags are sure to catch your eye.
Special thanks to Jeff and Kristal from Iron Horse Livery for preserving this piece of our motorcycling history and giving us a glimpse of the past and what it was like to ride a motorcycle ~ back in the day!