Paddy’s Army of Indians

Passion comes in many shapes and sizes, and for Paddy it’s in the form of a 2-wheeled machine that’s got history dripping off it and an iconic Native American logo on the side of the tank. A love affair that’s been cultivated over decades has resulted in a remarkable collection of unique classic Indian Motorcycles.

Growing up, Paddy would get his taste for two-wheels in school as he would borrow small Japanese bikes off his mates to get his fill. Despite this, it wouldn’t be untill Paddy was in his early 20’s that he would own some motorcycles just for himself. This would be with a couple of trail bikes and a BSA M20 side valve single. Obsession would be just around the corner however, in the form of a dirty old Indian.

 

“I saw my first Indian around 1982 when I was in town. I marvelled at its beauty – this machine was all green, dirty and original. I was absolutely in love. Within a month I had found one for sale and was completely hooked. I couldn’t get the bike to run unfortunately, so I sold it to a mate that lived on my street. I bought another, though this time it was in bits with loads of spares on hand. This meant that I could learn to build and also maintain the bike.”

 

Once this pile of parts was completed into a fully functioning bike, Paddy would find himself meeting others that shared the same love affair for these American bikes. Indian ownership would prove as a catalyst to opening up doors to good mates and riding buddies that would be maintained for decades to come. But simply owning one bike would not suit Paddy and, once he became a self-employed demolition contractor, he found himself buying up more and more Indian motorcycles.

 

With more bikes, came the need for more space. Fortunately, as Paddy was buying up old Indian’s, he was also buying up old houses. “My first property outside our own home was the Linwood House c.1956, which was a two-storied building split in seven flats on 2000 metres of land. We restored the house and ended up buying six neighbours out. We knocked down another to enlarge the garden space and started transplanting trees and gardens onto our land.” Six years ago the Christchurch earthquakes would result in much of the property being damaged. With the areas that could not be fixed now being demolished, the garden would be expanded along with more trees and shrubs.

This magnificent garden would play host to the Smash Palace Motorcycle show. Here, a ton of amazing classic and custom bikes, alongside Paddy’s personal collection, would be shown off in the amazing outlying garden of Paddy’s home. Check out some videos of the show HERE and HERE

“When you ride the early choppers, it’s all about the nostalgia and they’re just fucking so retro and cool! The stroker 101, with its great low-handling power, in and out cornering is a joy to ride. The awesome Sidecar bikes are great for taking the two grandkids to the beach to enjoy ice creams, sand, sun and waves. The race bikes for track and street – win or whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. The ‘35 chief is the best looking bike I’ve got, with it’s partial flaired guards, black with gold pin striping hot cams. It’s a dream. If I want to go distances in comfort the ‘48 Chief is a choice with its rear suspension and 1420cc, it’s the King of The Road.”

What surprised us most about exploring Paddy’s collection was that it seems to never end. Every nook and cranny seem to have some magnificent old Indians stored away. First we met him at an old church he was restoring, that housed two of his old race bikes. “Ok let’s head off over to my house to check out some more!” and sure enough off we went. There, we discovered a trove of amazing old machines in a granny flat. “Ok let’s check out the shed!” More? You bet. This time there was a ton of memorabilia lining the walls, from trophies to pieces of history and movie props. “OK let’s check out the garage now!” Christ, there’s more! Sure enough, a beautiful old sidecar setup was tucked away. And just as we’re about to leave, Paddy tells us to go check out the old pump house he owns and operates his business out of. Yep – more bikes… and plenty of taxidermy animals, just for good measure.

“It was never my intention to collect so many Indians. They just sort of came up and I couldn’t resist passing up all these special bikes with mostly kiwi history behind them. My race bikes originated with five Indian club members 20+ years ago. They were pleased to hand them over to me. They all needed rebuilding somewhat, and now I own three of them.

Never say never, you don’t know what’s around the next corner.”

And here’s a run down on Paddy’s collection –

1948 Chief project bike – “Its on its 3rd engine rebuild stroked to 1420 cc matching numbers”

1941 scout 741 model Chopper –  12″ over forks chromed  600cc circa 1976

1941 scout 741 model – American hand built sidecar circa 1936 600cc

1941 scout 741 model – “Original military bike with auction lot no73 in whitewash painted on the seat. Change of ownership papers  with army department stamped on the change of ownership papers.”

1941 scout 741  – “Traded parts for a complete restoration by Ben Deverouxe. Took 20yrs to finish”

1941 scout 741 with sidecar – “Stroked to 850 cc built by T Rex Hoskings fron Wellington. Ridden on The Great Race Tasmania”

1941 scout 741 Race bike -” Norton gearbox, belt drive, Harly bottom end. Twin leading triumph brakes. Methanol burner.”

1941 scout 741 Race bike – “Burt Munro tribute bike. Ridden by Lee Munro, Burt’s great grandson thus the paint work.”

1941 scout 741 Race bike – “Recent build underway to compete with the others at Burt Munro racing against Aussie Indian vs Harley race team. I’ll be coming over next February. They are coming to our Indian rally following and then Sound of Thunder.”

1919 Powerplus chopper 741 – “Frame raked with 6 inch over chromed forks  1000 cc  Very special build  circa 1978.”

1926 Chief Chopper – “Triumph frame & gearbox 12 inch over chromed forks 1000cc. Metallic blue with flames one owner 1978”

1941 Scout 741 Chopper – “Springer front end 600cc needs finishing needs new home ”

1923 Scout  – “Same family since 1925 3 generations. Original change of ownership papers ,true barnfind – though they found me!”

1935 Indian Chief – “Ex project bike from hawia full restoration by Ben Deverouxe and Andrew Daly in Christchurch”

1936 Sport Scout – “Just a motor, frame, and wheels. Dug out of a creek on The Westcoast 30yrs ago. Currently hanging in a tree over driveway”

1938 junior scout – “Ex airforce, bought in by a yank 30 yrs ago. Restored by Ben Deverouxe and Rex Hosking”

1939 Sport Scout – “New into Christchurch motor pool bike at local military camp during the war.raced in southland restored 20 yrs.”

1928 101  Scout 750 – “motor stroked to 983cc chief bottom end ,oil return to tank. Best handling bike Indian produced.”

1930 101 Scout 1350 cc chief – “Motor transplant built by Ben Deverouxe motor  by Perry Moore. Best power best handling”

1947 chief – “Flat tracker style oil in nickel plated chrome moly frame, forks disk brakes. Race motor candy red
This bike is a rather  change of direction  and compliments the collection.”

2015 scout – “I resisted the urge to buy a new chief and then the Scout emerged, plenty of horsepower and fun.”

A few pieces from the archives