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1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra Glide Barn Find

Posted by Jake Hindes on

It’s no secret that Jake Hindes, co-founder of Prism Supply, is into vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles. If the fact that he and his brother built a company centralized around the niche isn’t enough, proof can also be found in his current and past personal collection. From survivor ’60s choppers to fully-custom show bikes, he’s no stranger to the brand from Milwaukee. But, there is one box he’s yet to check.

During a recent trip to Concord, North Carolina to look at a motorcycle for sale, Jake heard the seller casually mention another “pile of rust” in passing that was stored nearby. An inexperienced buyer would likely ignore the comment for fear of a hopeless money pit. However, Jake knew better than to leave any stone unturned and decided to inquire. 

A few cell phone photos later, Jake saw enough to know there was something special about the rusty motorcycle and wanted to keep digging. But, the seller wasn’t ready to treat the sale seriously, so they let a few months pass and stayed in touch. 

“Today’s your lucky day,” read a text Jake received from the seller one day in early summer. The seller was ready to talk and soon after, Jake was en route back to Concord.

The “pile of rust” turned out to be a one-owner 1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra Glide sporting the paint color Bronco Bronze Metallic, which was only offered in ’52. Those two facts alone put the motorcycle in a rare category, but upon closer inspection, Jake realized there was something else that made it stand out. 

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Underneath the rust were all-original components. From the bolts holding everything together to the engine seals, nothing on the motorcycle had been touched. Come to find out, the last time the bike was fired up was back in 1994 when the original owner used the Panhead to commute to work at Freightliner here in Charlotte, the same city in which the bike was purchased from a local Harley-Davidson dealership. Even the paper Freightliner parking pass remains in the front windscreen to this day.

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This was a rare find indeed that Jake was able to purchase and bring to its new home at Prism Supply. Now, the bike will stay in the Queen City where it was first sold over half a century ago.

As for Jake, he can finally check that last box off his list and officially add the elusive barn find as a notch in his belt. And as for the Panhead, it’s currently collecting dust as office decoration. But, there are big plans for the future of this motorcycle. 

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“I want to do a complete mechanical restoration on the bike. Visually, it’s important that nothing changes. You won’t find a Prism Supply petcock or tail light on this thing, it’s going to maintain the original aesthetic that Harley intended,” Jake said as he explained his intentions for the bike’s next chapter. 

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Jake and a few close Harley-Davidson experts have looked closely and are confident that a mechanical restoration is in the cards. The rust actually isn’t that bad. It’s all surface rust and everything mechanical seems very possible to bring back to life.

Now that the bike is about to go under the knife for a full mechanical restoration, it’s safe to say the next time we see this thing will be on the road.


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