Americans: 1948 Indian Chief

Matailong Du
December 28, 2017
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Yellow Indian motorcycle
Matailong Du

Considered the most stylish of mass-produced motorcycle models, this 1948 Indian Chief is now on view in the museum’s Potomac Atrium. It will take up long-term residence on the Third Level when Americans opens this fall. From its origin as a bicycle brand exported overseas through its transition to a motorcycle line, the “Indian” name has signified American quality to foreign and domestic customers alike. This motorcycle’s fender ornament is an Indian figure with headdress. Indian Chief motorcycle on loan from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Birmingham, Alabama.

Photo by Matailong Du for the National Museum of the American Indian.