• Year of manufacture 
  • Motorcycle type 
  • Engine number 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Colour  
  • Location
    United Kingdom


1952 Harley-Davidson 739cc Servi-Car
Engine no. 52G3085

* One of only 515 Model Gs made in 1946
* Netherlands registration papers
* Restored condition

Like most other manufacturers, Harley-Davidson relied on sidecar-equipped solos as a means of exploiting the motorcycle's commercial possibilities, until the arrival of the purpose-built Servi-Car trike in 1932 raised the three-wheeler's potential to new levels. Powered by Harley's rugged 45ci 'flat head' v-twin, the Servi-Car incorporated a car-type differential in its rear axle right from the start and a reverse gear soon after introduction. The Servi-Car's main customer was the police, but this versatile machine was also much favoured by auto dealers as a tow vehicle and by small businesses for deliveries. In the latter role it served as a useful mobile billboard, there being ample room to display the company name and 'phone number on the rear of the cargo box, while for $3.50 per pair H-D would supply fender advertising skirts. The versatile Servi-Car also enabled disabled motorcyclists to enjoy the genuine Harley-Davidson experience.

Regularly upgraded in line with Harley-Davidson's motorcycle range, the Servi-Car remained in the catalogue until 1973 and the time of its retirement was Milwaukee's longest running model. Important upgrades along the way included a reverse gear in 1933, a second brake for the rear axle in 1937, and enclosure of the rear drive chain in 1938, while in 1939 the tow-bar was beefed up and made a permanent attachment. In 1940 a stronger axle housing was introduced and the following year the Servi-Car received a new frame, which coincided with the adoption of a welded (rather than riveted) rear axle tube. There was also increased power, courtesy of a raised compression ratio, and a more effective front brake, taken from the 74ci solo models. In this form the Servi-car remained essentially unchanged until 1959 when it was fitted with the Hydra-Glide telescopic fork, replacing the old 'Springer' front end, while the provision of an electric starter in 1964 marked the first occasion this device had been fitted to a Harley-Davidson. In the post-war year's, Harley's trike also became the focus of customisers, some of whom even went so far as to replace the 45ci twin with a mighty American V8.

With its sombre black paintwork, this restored Servi-Car looks like it might have been used as a hearse by an undertaker specialising in household pets. The machine is offered with Netherlands registration papers and an Automotoclub Storico Italiano certificate.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
Contact Person Kontaktperson
First name 
Bonhams Collectors’ Car department