|With the fierce competition in the early days of the motorcycle industry, racing and endurance runs fast became an important aspect providing a means to test the latest and greatest technical features of the machines and its reliability.|
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum - Indian
The Indian Motorcycle Company is the oldest motorcycle company in the United States but it was on the verge of financial ruin in the early years of the Great Depression. The company survived through those tough years primarily due to E. Paul DuPont’s efforts who took over running the company in 1930. It was during this time that Indian introduced the style of the Indian Chief that many motorcycle manufacturers still copy in their design. The “Chief” was introduced 1922 and it was known for its strength and reliability but production was ended in 1953.
The 1936 Indian Four was designed to be the “worlds finest and fastest stock motorcycle” according to the Indian News publication. The Model 436 was Indian’s first factory produced four cylinder motor and it had been thoroughly redesigned from the previously supplied ACE motors. Dubbed the “Upside Down Four”, it featured a new “Exhaust over Intake” (EOI) design that was intended to keep air intake cooler, producing more power with its large radial finned head design.
With the advent of Harley-Davidson’s overhead valve Knucklehead in 1936, the Indian Motorcycle company’s market share began to dwindle, as Indian continued to build the side valve or ‘flathead’ motorcycle.