1938 Harley Knucklehead roars to life for first time since 1958!!

1938 Harley Knucklehead roars to life for first time since 1958!! 1


1938 Harley Knucklehead roars to life for first time since 1958!!

This gorgeous and extremely rare 1938 E Model Harley Davidson “Knucklehead” motorcycle came in to our shop last fall for a full restoration after sitting idle in a barn for over 50 years. There was only 189 total of these produced in 1938, and it is a true piece of American history. In a really cool and strange coincidence we learned that the original owner had same unusual name as my husband, Huntz, the master mechanic that ended up bringing it back to life all these years later. The bike came into the shop in fairly rough shape needing both serious cosmetic and motor work done. The end result turned out amazing, and the bike took first place for both People’s Choice and Best-of-Show at a local bike show just one week after we completed the restoration. This video is the first time after restoration that we attempted to officially bring it to life. We were beyond thrilled to see how quickly she kicked over and how smoothly she ran.
Some info about us: My husband and I own Classic Cycle in Neenah, Wisconsin, a small independent shop that specializes in caring for these beautiful vintage old Harleys that are becoming more and more rare. . Huntz is a certified master mechanic that has been wrenching both personally and professionally for over 40 years. The current owner was given the original bill of sale from the original owner when he bought the bike, it had cost 5 purchased new back in 1938. It took the current owner Ron “Sober” Martzahl 20 years to convince the elderly widow of the original “Huntz” to part with her late husband’s bike, and we considered an honor that Sober wouldn’t consider anyone else to handle the restoration once he finally got it.
Check out our shop at: www.classiccycleshop.com
or follow Classic Cycle on facebook

Ride Safe!

About Craig Ballantyne 17903 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.


  1. Ma'am, awesome is an understatement, but I can't come up with anything better than putting a vulgar adjective in front of it! Knuckleheads are my favorite H-D engines. Always wanted a knucklehead trike, but it doesn't look like that will ever happen!

  2. Awesome bike! It sounds great and looks even better! I'm always humbled and proud to see a piece of american history come to life

  3. Thanks! When it came in, we had to install a completely new wiring harness, the electrical wiring was just ancient. Besides that, the top end of the motor was in bad shape, the heads were junk, and the clutch was a nightmare, gunk, grime and totally gummed up. Trust me, along the way, there were plenty of frustrations and headaches and long hours. In the end, we were really proud, though, and the owner couldn't be happier.

  4. I'll take that as a compliment, but yes, it actually was the first official start after the rebuild. You can hear me laugh in happy surprise in the background that it kicked to life so smoothly, and Huntz is all swarming over the bike like its a newborn baby, making sure the oil was properly circulating, checking everything. This was a big project, so we had been really looking forward to the first "official" start, I'm glad I thought to video the moment.

  5. Awesome knuckle, man! The knuckle is the best looking engine Harley ever made IMO! I'd love to have the new S&S knuckle with all of today's modern tolerances. Beautiful!!

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