- This popular post-war motorcycle was customized by the former owner.
- Demand for Harleys in 1946 was so overwhelming that the company had to allot motorcycles to dealers on a quota basis.
Manufactured in late1945 and 1946, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were only a bit dressier than the similar World War II models. They came equipped with synthetic tires, which raised the price of the motorcycle to $469.08. Originally, two paint colors were available, wartime gray and red, but as the year progressed, skyway blue replaced gray. In addition, foot-pedal rubbers, black rubber grips, chrome fender tips, deluxe saddlebags, colored shift ball and rubber pedal pads were optional later in the model year. These features added another $75 to the base price. While chrome and aluminum were still in short supply, the standard 46FL Special Sport Solo sported stainless steel fender tips and chrome pushrod tubes. These were appealing to an American public who had been deprived of such shiny things for so long during WWII.
Utilizing all the raw materials they could find, Harley-Davidson was able to sell all the motorcycles they could build. The September 1946 issue of The Enthusiast said, “The demand for new Harley-Davidsons has been so overwhelming that we found it necessary to allot motorcycles to dealers on a quota basis.” They did their best to meet these demands.
This motorcycle is customized with red and black paint, additional chrome, and an electrical system converted from 6 volts to 12 volts. Donald Weber donated the motorcycle to the Museum in honor of Bud Catlett in recognition of the “significant contribution Bud Catlett made in purchasing more than 2,000 automobiles for the former Harrah’s Automobile Collection over a period of 17 years. No one served Bill Harrah more faithfully than did Bud Catlett.”