1948 Harley-Davidson FL w/Sidecar and Questions

In 3 Wheels, America, Cruiser by Tom Wacker0 Comments

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Post Sale Update: This beautiful sidecar sold for $33,900 – looks like the BIN price was bumped after the seller learned it was a Goulding sidecar.

This is a gorgeous looking motorcycle with perilously few details and a story to match it. I have some questions about the package that I could use some help with. It’s a 1948 Harley model FL, but is it an S (sidecar) variant? The ‘S’ was NOT stamped in the serial number in 1948. Did rear sprocket size change between the S and the regular FL?

Then the car. I believe it to be a Goulding Rocket car, but it doesn’t actually match any of the pictures available from that company. Is it a Goulding? Is there another maker of the period that made a similar hack? If it is a Goulding sidecar, there is a great website here. Even if it isn’t a Goulding, it’s a cool site if you like old sidecars.

In general, the 1948 FL was the last year of the girder style (springer) front forks and the first year for the legendary Pan Head motor. The Pan Head featured hydraulic automatic valve adjustment and aluminum heads to improve cooling (not to mention the iconic rocker covers that gave the motor it’s name).

The 1948 Harley Davidson FL featured a 73.71 CID (1208 CC) air cooled overhead valve V-Twin motor that made 55 HP with a four speed hand shifted (foot clutch) transmission. Girder and spring front suspension with a rigid rear, drum brakes on both ends and a total dry weight of 588 LBS.

This particular 1948 Harley Davidson FL (VIN# 48FL9217) is in Milford, Connecticut at Village Auto Sales and is listed as a 56,000 mile trade in with matching numbers. It looks to be completely and professionally re done, it is clean everyplace. The bike is on auction with a Buy It Now price of $32,500

Sources
Goulding
Wikipedia
Just Panhead
Bikez (1949 – They showed 1948 as a Knucklehead. Used for spec verification only)

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