The history of my Indian,
starts about 1950. War was over for five years and the biggest scars were already heald in our family. My grandfather (he died three years befor my birth) had early returned from war, had work and was able to buy a motorcycle. He bought a bike with a sidecar wich had plenty of space for family needs. It was sprayed new and had the engine done. After that the cycle was in daily use, sometimes for small roundtrips in Austria. My father, wich was ten years old at this time, today is able to tell stories of flat tire repairs, problems with the coals of the ignition system and carburator adjustments, wich took place in the early evening hours, because the engine ran smoother then.
The 50ties past and time didnīt stop. Cars were on the "fastlane" of those years and my father had worst memories of how it was beeing on a motorcycle when it rains. His wish to own the bike after his father, was at a minimum. As the tires were completely without any profile and new ones were extremely expensive cause of the american tiredimensions, the time had come for the bike. The motorcycle was sold to a shop for 600 Schillings (about 55USD) in the early sixties. Well, at this time a lot of money............
Centuries later, I was twelve years old, my father showed me a old photo. He told me about the motorcycle on it, an "Indian", grandfather had owned it, it was equiped with a sidecar............. I was not realy interested, but the photo was nice. The little boy in the "boat" (my father) made a face like cruising at highspeed. My father also tried to interest me for the photo the next years, but without success.
Things changed when the "Oldtimerillnes" hit me with a 1965 Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus at the age of seventeen. After a visit of the "Oldtimer Exhibition" in Tulln near Vienna, were I had seen a Chief with sidecar that was one of the eyecatchers at the fare, I went to my father and asked:"Were is the photo of this bike. What was itīs name???" Now I knew that the cycle was something realy special. At this time we had a thousand questions. Only a few of them were answered and just two things were clear: The brand "Indian" and the engine size of 600cc (37ci). My father told me that there was no literatur about these bikes. Something I didnīt believe. A few weeks later a bought a extremly expensive magazine called "Indian Motorcycle Illustrated" (Ed. Sept. 95) at the US import shop. Proud of this "treasure" I presented it to my father. The wonder was, that on page 16 a bike was shown wich was quite simillar to ours. A 1931, Indian Scout 101! The next years brought some editions of the magazine, a few books and more detailed informations about the Scout. We found out, that there had been a 37ci and a much more often produced 45ci engineversion. Also, most of the other details of the Scout were clear to us now.
Short after I had made my drivinglicens, I drove my VW Beetle to Potsdamm near Berlin to visit Christian Timmermanns Indian Supply. After I had seen his unrestored `31 Scout and heard a `38 Chief, everthing was clear to me. I wanted to own a Scout!!! A short look to the internet got me back to the floor. For restored bikes 23000USD had to be payed, for more or less partfilled baskets they wanted up to 10000USD.
Then the years passed without getting forward with the wish to own a 1931 Scout. My military duty, a new job at a german airline and the renovation of my flat. As I later began to search again for a bike, I regonized that Christian Timmermann had closed his "wigwam". The only thing they gave me, was the phonenumber of Florian Gsottbauer, the "Indian specialist of Austria" as they called him. I phoned him and e few days later we met. I didn`t wanted to buy a bike at a motorcycle dealer or shop and because he had the better contacts, I asked him to tell me when a good bike would be for sale. Some days later he called and told me about a Scout wich he wanted to buy and sell it a little bit later. I didnīt wanted to stress him and called four weeks later. He just asked me, why I hadnīt called.....The bike was sold!!! For the second try we flew to Sweden to see a project bike. To many parts were missing and the price was much to high. The search went on.
As Florian Gsottbauer returned from the Indian Rally in Denmark he told me about a full restored bike wich was for sale. Thinking about a very high price, I was not sure if I should call the seller. Short after the first emails I had some photos of the Indian.
The price......letīs say........was interesting. First talks to my girlfriend (and today wife) Dorit brought nothing else but negotiating headnicks. But short later she changed her mind. My father also helped out financing the bike and after all the payment was secured. Florian had seen the bike at the Indianmeeting, on his expertice I trusted. Those days were hard for me. That short before the goal of owning a `31 Scout, not knowing if there were other people interested in that bike. Transport and customs had to be organized and there was this bad feeling buying the bike without having it seen or driven. After more photos wich showed the restorationprocess, lots of emails and phonecontact I bought the Scout. The condition of the bike was too convincing. My feeling went better when the licenspapers and the salescontract arrived with mail. One week, a zikzakline throu Europe, 800 senseless kilometers and a "logistical wonder" done by the transport company later, the bike arrived at our house in Austria. The Scout was just perfect! Jan Nybo, the seller and restorer of the Scout, had done a nice job with this restoration. The condition "Better than new" would tell it right. As Austrian customs had given itīs "Yes" to the bike, my feelings went euphorical.....and didnīt change since then.
Eight years of search found an end. The Indian had returned to our family, right in that year in wich my grandfather would have celebrated his 101st birthday. If that isnīt a good sign!
And as we started the engine for the first time, grandfather was with us.