Thursday, January 28, 2016

Project Scout: Building a Legend

One of the favorite sponsors of Bikes, Blues, and BBQ is heritage Indian of Northwest Arkansas.  Recently they became involved in a customizing contest sponsored by the Indian Motorcycle Company.  Each participating dealer utilized a brand new Scout as a blank canvas upon which to create their own vision of the perfect bike showcasing the  beauty, performance, and in this case heritage (no pun intended) of the bike.  Heritage Indian of NWA chose to honor the marque’s past with a recreation of one of the great racing bikes of all time.   In their own words:
“Introducing Ol’ #71, a tribute to one of the greats, two time AMA National Champion & Indian Wrecking Crew racer, Bobby Hill.  We built more than just a custom Scout, we rebuilt a legend!  The inspiration for our Project Scout came from the winning tradition that Bobby Hill created in the late 1940’s through the 1950’s. 

Not only is our custom Indian Scout reminiscent of Bobby’s bike with its two-tone paint scheme and colored headdress, we actually let Bobby himself put his own personal touch on this beauty.  In mid-December, our IMRG Vice-President Jim Hiland and Heritage team member Johnathon Vandevort packaged the fuel tank and strapped it to the back of a 2015 Indian Chieftain and embarked on a 1600 mile journey to visit the legend himself.  They endured temperatures in the teens and high winds but knowing that Bobby was going to put his signature on the fuel tank of our custom Scout gave them all the encouragement they needed.  Once there, the Wrecking Crew legend shared racing stories, showed them his old racing jersey and other memorabilia.  Part way through the visit Bobby stated…”Visiting with you guys reminds me of how much fun I had back then!”  It was easy to see why Bobby was known as one of the friendliest racers of his era and was voted AMA’s most popular rider in 1951.  Well Bobby, you’ve made this project not only fun but also more special than any custom Scout could be.

Service Manager Johnny Jones, Technician Cody Lee
and Parts Manager Miles Devlin put a lot of work into this
build. We appreciate their efforts and are proud of the
You’ll notice the sprung seat with copper springs and matching distressed leather fender pad, vintage style flat track handle bars and of course, number plates with the iconic #71.  We didn’t stop there, Bobby shared a lot of details with us months ago that we incorporated into our build.  Like how he ran 18” wheels and often ran on Firestone tires, which we added to our Scout.  We painted the front end, frame and swing arm just to resemble his winning bike.  Bobby insisted that we use the gold pinstripe on the fuel tank, just like he had!  Our custom dual exhaust is staggered and offset,  the rear shock springs are copper plated, our front and rear fenders underwent heavy fabrication and we even added the vintage left side air cleaner, all to bring back the look and aura of the two time AMA National Champion and famed Wrecking Crew racer #71.

We hope you find Ol’ #71 not only honors Bobby Hill, the legendary Wrecking Crew and their contribution to American motorcycle racing history but also honors the Indian Scout’s place in American motorcycle history.  Cast your vote for Ol’ #71 today and make Bobby Hill and the new Indian Scout #1 again!”

So, we ask our friends and fans to check out all the entries in this contest and cast your vote for the local guys, Heritage Indian of NWA.