What’s red and black and runs all over? It could be you if you’re the winning bidder for this 1932 Harley-Davidson VL sidecar rig! Full of early-30s charm, it has a three-speed hand shifter and a foot-operated clutch that may take a little getting used to. That’s all part of the fun, though!
This vintage piece of American motorcycle history is powered by a 74 cubic inch, flathead, V-twin engine. It comes with a Springer front end, the sidecar has a leaf-spring suspension, and the rider gets a sprung solo seat to sit on. You also get a neat old Corbin speedometer unit that shows 19,000 miles on the clock, although actual mileage is unknown. It stops with drum brakes, as you’d probably expect.
It’s currently located in Fresno, California, where the owner brought it after purchasing it in New York approximately 15 years ago. Not much mention in the listing is made about restoration, although that paint job is clearly a newer addition. It’s still running, which speaks to some maintenance and/or restoration, but no details or documentation are mentioned at all by the seller. However, they do add that the body of the original sidecar wasn’t in great shape, so that part is a reproduction—but the door is original. Just look at those wooden armrests!
The Motor Company debuted its VLs in 1929—just two months before the infamous stock market crash. This was its first side-valve engine design, and there were some unfortunate growing pains that meant the first batch had breakdown issues the company spent a lot of money, time, and parts to repair. The National Motorcycle Museum credits the onset of the Great Depression with an increased focus on paint and graphics rather than technical advancement for the short-lived VLs. It’s also worth noting that it wasn’t long before the OHV Knucklehead made its first appearance on the world stage in 1936.
Gallery: 1932 Harley-Davidson VL with Sidecar
If you’re interested in owning this 88-year-old piece of motorcycle history, it’s up for auction on Bring A Trailer through August 31. Bidding is currently up to $9,000 at the time of writing, and 337 people are watching it.