Harley Hits the Beach in ’33

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In 1933, Harley-Davidson designers created a one year only paint job which is arguably the best that has ever come out of Milwaukee.  Even back in the 30’s, Harley knew that nothing looks better on a motorcycle than beautiful women and if you throw in some sand and sun, you’ve got a recipe for success.  So, Harley trucked a couple of their new ’33 models down to  Bradford Beach in Milwaukee for a photo shoot.

Both motorcycles pictured are powered by 74″ sidevalve engines mated to hand-shifted three-speed transmissions.  The 1933 model year was one of the lowest production years in Harley history, with only 2671 big twins produced and a total production of 3703 units (this number includes singles and small twins).  Of the two motorcycles used in the photo shoot, the sidecar model, is the rarest with only 164 being manufactured.  These low productions numbers were a result of the Great Depression, which drastically cut sales for Harley-Davidson.  It is likely that Harley hoped that their new “flashy” paint job would help attract more customers.  Unfortunately, most of these photos were deemed too risque for an ad campaign, but one did make it on the cover of the Enthusiast.

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