Over at the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, Matt Walksler and his dedicated staff are busy getting that beautiful 1937 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead ready for the 2022 raffle. This machine has a ton of one-year-only options on it, and they’ve been working hard to restore it with as many new-old stock parts as possible before firing it up for the first time in preparation to roll home with its new owner.
The raffle will take place on November 19, 2022—but here in mid-September, WTT is putting the finishing touches on this absolutely beautiful restoration. While Walksler is certainly no stranger to extremely rare and hard-to-find parts for vintage Harleys, even he seems to be in particular awe of this pair of OEM fuel tanks that he managed to find and put on this bike. They aren’t reproductions, although those are also available—they're the real deal, and they’re next to impossible to find.
To top it off, he had one of his favorite hand-lettering experts handle the paint to make these tanks as absolutely perfect as they can be. To up the ante even a little bit over the water slide decals that would have been applied by Harley, this guy used actual gold and silver leaf to give the finish that extra gleam and glow. The end result is quite lovely to see, as you’ll note in this video.
The last things left to do before firing this bike up are installing the fuel tanks, shifter, fuel caps (which are faithful vented reproductions), and fuel line. The fuel line is a modern improvement over the original—which involved copper, which can easily crack. The replacement is a hard fuel line made completely of steel, to exact specifications so it fits perfectly and provides reliable service on this piece of American motorcycling history.
After the tanks, fuel caps, and fuel line are installed, it’s time for the little rubber piece that goes in between the tanks—and then the skull dash as the cap on the whole thing. It houses a one-year-only speedometer, as well as amp and oil gauges—and it really sets off the whole look once it’s properly in place. Finally, it’s time to fire this 1937 Knucklehead up for the first time—and after three prime kicks, it fires right up and makes quite a nice sound.
There’s a full playlist of all the steps involved in restoring this beauty that WTT has on its YouTube channel, if you want to see the whole thing. If you’re interested in your chance to win this bike, the raffle is still open for 2022 as of September 20.