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1934 HARLEY-DAVIDSON R45 750cc TWIN For Sale by Auction

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  • Auction Estimate
  • 1934
Message the seller
Price Auction Estimate
Ad Type For Sale by Auction
Category Motorcycles
Make Harley Davidson
Model R45 750cc TWIN
Year 1934
Country Australia
Region International
Telephone +613 9882 1433
Status Trade
Date 08-Jun-2020
Ref C1233068
1934 HARLEY-DAVIDSON R45 750cc TWIN

Estimate AUD $30,000-38,000

Live Auction - July 26th NSW, Australia - details above for more info.

Single family ownership since 1935


The Harley Davidson R-series range were produced between 1932 and 1936 and launched during the Great Depression when sales were at a twenty-year low. Despite the challenging economic environment, Harley Davidson persevered with production of the R-series and as a result, was one of only two motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Depression. A mere 450 model R motorcycles were produced in 1934.

The 1934 R model had a 45 CI engine and three-speed transmission.  Attractive art deco styling included sweeping fender valances and striking colour schemes. The 1934 R model was enhanced to feature low-expansion aluminium-alloy pistons, new oil pump, gear case cover, new clutch set up, Hi-Flo muffler streamlined three piece construction fenders and the tank styled with art deco bars and stylised logo in a diamond shape on tank panel.

The model was popular with collectors and Hollywood stars alike, with Steve McQueen and Clark Gable both owning a 1934 Model R.

The 1934 R45 on offer here is believed to have been delivered new to Western Australian dealers Mortlock Brothers Ltd. who were the Hudson Terraplane Cars, Harley-Davidson and BSA Motorcycle distributors located at 914 Hay Street, Perth.  In 1935, as per the original receipt dated 23rd November 1935, it was resold via Mortlock Brothers from Douglas Edward Blake c/o Browne’s Milk Depot, Brunswick Junction to Ernest Howard Wishart, being the father of the current owner.  It is likely the bike was purchased originally by one of the two sons of the Edward Browne, who managed the Brunswick Junction business following their father’s death in the 1920s.

Ernest Wishart used the bike sparingly before meeting a Melbourne girl and moving to Victoria, leaving the bike on his brother’s WA farm.  It was kept in running order stayed there until the 1970s when it was sent to Ernest’s son in Melbourne.  Apart from a period of 13 years when working in Sydney, it has lived in Melbourne with Ernest’s son “Before dad died eight years ago, he and I started to restore it…it is completely original, the only things really replaced in the restoration were the perishables like rubbers, reupholstery of the saddle and a new exhaust pipe and muffler was fitted.  The original motor was never touched internally, and John Gee from Antique Motorcycles did the electrics for us.”  Receipt of works undertaken in late 2016 from Antique Motorcycles for finishing the restoration totally approximately $10,000 accompany the sale.

Now after 85 years in single family ownership this recently restored, and wonderfully original well documented motorcycle is being sold.  Accompanying the sale are period b/w photographs from the 1930s of Ernest and the bike, transfer paperwork from Mortlock Brothers, original rider’s handbook and photos from the 1970s of the bike before restoration.  The motorcycle retains its original 1930s brass ‘Mortlock Dealers’ medallion. 

Presented here is a rare opportunity to purchase a piece of unique Australian motorcycle history. 

This motorcycle is being sold unregistered. 
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