Author Topic: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki  (Read 1497 times)

Offline ert

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'30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« on: December 30, 2020, 12:54:40 PM »
This is a photo from Thessaloniki, Greece, possibly taken in the '30s. I am very curious about which bike that is. Any help would be greatly appreciated  :)

Offline R

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2020, 08:41:29 PM »
Its American - you can tell by the acetylene headlamp style, and the Corbin speedo towards the back of the tank there.
The bike has a leaf spring front fork, and beaded edge tyres.  The tank is a curvy shape
We can see nothing of the engine, but its likely to be possibly an Indian, since they were the big sellers of the day,
and matches some features.

And I'd suggest its more like approx mid teens through 1920 or thereabouts.

Fancy big castle ghosted in the background too, should be possible to pin down that location too ?

??


It may be a smaller model though, your bike looks more lightly built ?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 08:44:18 AM by R »

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2020, 09:12:23 PM »
Yes, as R suggests it's an Indian. Certainly a Powerplus from the period 1918 (1917 was the last year of the rod controls on the handlebar) to 1921 (in 1922 new, heavier mudguards were introduced). No brake lever on the handlebar, so most likely either a 1918 or 1919 model. 1000cc side-valve twin.

Cheers

Leon

Offline 33d6

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2020, 10:51:26 PM »
I went for an American Excelsior myself. They used that same front suspension arrangement and liked to use some sort of rubber infill in the circular front of the suspension spring.
They very much have a look like an N.Q.R. (Not Quite Right) Indian.
That’s my two penn’orth anyway. Maybe Indian, maybe Excelsior.

Cheers,

Offline R

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2020, 11:12:23 PM »
I considered that, but the front mudguard on the teens BigX is rather distinctive
And became bigger and heavier in the 20s - and different.
The handlebars have a different look to them too.
Cheers.


Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2020, 01:19:29 AM »
Our American friends have done forensic studies on early Indians (and Excelsiors for that matter), and can plot out year-by-year changes pretty well, even noting the usual not-true-to-life-artistic-retouching that goes on in the various catalogue illustrations. And because Indian were producing bikes in quite large numbers there was little bike-to-bike variation in a given year model.

The biggest deviation from standard I can see in the bike in the photo is that the left hand petrol filler cap has been screwed into the right side tank!!! Shame on the owner. There were minor changes between the 1918 and 1919 models, the most obvious being that the broad black band between the gold pinstripes was replaced by simple gold pinstripes in 1919. When I was young, c1980, I bought an almost complete 1917 Powerplus in original paint (from the Age newspaper in Melbourne, at the crack of dawn on a Saturday) and the broad black between the gold stripes was still visible. The black is rarely seen on restored 1917 and 1918 bikes, and the photo is not clear enough to see whether or not it is on the bike here.

In 1918, the Powerplus was available with no lights (model N-18) or with full electric set (model NE-18), so this is the "bare" version fitted with acetylene light and a bulb horn.

Is the "5" on the front some kind of entry number in an event? Presumably an early 1920s photo.

Leon

Offline john.k

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2020, 12:00:57 PM »
...definitely an Indian Powerplus of the 1916 period,maybe the US war model ...but the pic is later,probably 30s as suggested.........Tower shouldnt be hard to locate ,unless it was destroyed in WW2........Indians may be forensically dated by Yanks......however ,Indian were in the habit of exporting models with several years earlier US market components  to third world markets..........the sidecar also has unusual arrangement with the wheel ,maybe spring suspension of the wheel.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 12:10:02 PM by john.k »

Offline Rex

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2020, 04:27:25 PM »
Greece a Third-world market...? That's now not then, thanks to the EU.. :-X

Offline mini-me

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2020, 05:34:39 PM »
Could well be 1914-18 surplus stock sold off?

Offline 33d6

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2020, 11:39:58 PM »
It wasn’t a “third world” thing. I think all factories did it to any export market too far away to effectively complain. Back in the days before airmail and electronic communications when you could only write by sea mail a factory could just about get away with anything.
So far I’ve had a French Amilcar, a supposed 1930 Matchless and my current 1930 Excelsior all of which contain obsolete parts from previous models. All genuine parts but all out dated. I would think it done locally if sometimes I found items from later models but that never happens.

Happy New Year!

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2021, 12:43:16 AM »
...definitely an Indian Powerplus of the 1916 period
No, but it is definitely a Powerplus of the 1918-21 period!!

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2021, 01:30:40 AM »
Here's the 1916 Powerplus - the first year. Note the tank between the frame rails, single-crown fork top, and long straight handlebars with twistgrips linked by rods through elaborate linkages to the carburettor and magneto.

The bike in the photo has a saddle tank, the new-for-1917 fork (where the outside legs enter the fork crown wide part), and curved handlebar with flexible wire controls.

The bike in the photo doesn't look at all like a 1916 model, but of course it could be updated (with great difficulty as even the frame changed 1916-1917, for example to add the built in sidecar mounting lug that can be seen in the photo).

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2021, 02:03:22 AM »
And here's 1917, with the new fork and saddle tank, but still with the old bars with rotating-rod controls.

Again the bike in the photo - with the curved bars and flexible cables - doesn't seem to be 1917, but no saying whether it was updated later...

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2021, 02:25:04 AM »
And finally 1918, with all the features we see in the photo?

Indians for export often had the front stand and rear carrier fitted standard. We did get a few unusual Indian things out here in Australia, notably bikes that were possibly ex-military Powerplus models, with rigid rear ends. Biden and Roberts sold a machine called the "Australian Scout", which was possibly based on these rigid, military Powerpluses - let me know if you can add to the story.

In summary, the bike in photo uses parts first seen in 1918 models, so it would require some bravado to date it earlier than that.

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: '30s (?) in Thessaloniki
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2021, 05:47:50 AM »
And the sidecar... or the chassis at least.

The body in the photo is a bit rough, probably made in a local body works somewhere. Late in the war, Australia, for example, banned importation of motor bodies - cars (and I think sidecars) came in as bare chassis - so local body builders were busy making motor car and sidecar bodies. Even before the embargo, tariffs on motor bodies were very high so local production was common.

Leon