Jay Leno is the proud owner of a 1940 Indian Four with a sidecar, which once belonged to Joe Montana. While this vintage motorcycle isn’t perfectly restored to original condition, this bike is rare. Only 10,000 Indian Fours were ever made in the 15 years they were produced.
While rare, a surprising number of these early Indian Fours have survived, which is a testament to their durability. Indian still produces a fine American motorcycle. See the 2018 Indian motorcycle models here.
Joe Montana, the earlier owner of Jay Leno’s Indian Four, was one of the most famous NFL quarterbacks of all time. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing for San Francisco 49ers from 1979-1992 and the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993-1994.
Jay Leno and Joe Montana are both fortunate to be part of this bike’s long history. It is a beautiful and serviceable motorcycle.
Jay Leno explains that the bike had more chrome than it did originally, and the seat is a Harley Davidson seat rather than a stock Indian seat. Still, the working parts remain, for the most part, as designed.
Joe Montana and Jay Leno’s Indian Four is essentially a four-cylinder flathead, also called an F-head according to How Stuff Works. It had overhead intake valves as well as side exhaust valves and featured a three-speed transmission and a foot clutch. The engine is 77 cubic inches which is large for a motorcycle of its time.
Jay Leno says this bike was built for going long distances reliably and comfortably, which is a different approach than the Japanese and Europeans took with their high-revving motorcycles. The Indian Four is not high-revving and puts very little stress on the engine in normal function.
The Indian Four, even this 1940 model, is a comfortable ride that is easy to work on. The mechanism is simple enough that it could be repaired at the roadside with a few tools in most cases.
See Jay Leno explain the Indian Four motorcycle in the video below.
Jay Leno also hosted a group of veterans on a tour of Jay Leno’s Garage. It looks like they were really having fun in the video below.
Jay Leno explains that the 1940 Indian Four cost about $1,000 when it was sold new. That may not sound like a lot, but at the time, it was more than the sticker price of most new cars. A new Chevrolet, for example, cost about $700. The Indian Four was a depression-era vehicle, so that explains why the demand was so low. Indian wisely chose not to overproduce for the market.
The Indian is a popular motorcycle among those who are knowledgeable about the brand. Vintage motorcycles like the 1940 Indian Four once owned by Joe Montana are highly coveted for their smooth ride, easy repair, and, as Jay Leno pointed out, the absence of vibration.
Jay Leno and Joe Montana have both owned this gorgeous Indian Four, and Steve McQueen had one very much like it, according to the Mecum Auctions website. The Indian Four is one of the most popular vintage motorcycles even today.
Jay Leno and Joe Montana both enjoyed the 1940 Indian Four.
[Featured Image by Sergey Kohl/Shutterstock]