Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1942 Harley Davidson WLA engine is said to have been built for WW2, but “has never been removed from its crate.” The story goes that the 45ci V-twin comes from a large collection of early Indian and Harley parts recently put up for sale, and it remains untouched, fully assembled and even timed according to the ad. A few of the crate’s panels have been removed to aid photography, but the engine otherwise looks just as it did when first packed away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin more than 75 years ago. Find it here on eBay in Arden, North Carolina for $13,500 OBO.

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

Harley-Davidson produced the WLA during wartime and constructed them to meet military specifications. The WLA was based upon the civilian WL platform, from which it sourced a majority of its parts.

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

Through the forties and early fifties, Harley produced over 90,000 of these war-ready bikes, while also building up a massive spares cache adequate to build many thousands more. That said, there can’t be many NOS parts left in the late 20-teens, let alone full motors.

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

The engine at hand is a side-valve 45 cubic inch unit. Harley also made a variant for the Canadian military, called the WLC. A detuned version was used in the Servi-Car three-wheeler.

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-TwinWaiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

Compression ratio for WLA’s was dialed in at 5:1, and their 25 horsepower could power bikes to 65 miles per hour, achieved at a 4500 rpm redline while hand shifting through three speeds. A 6-volt battery and coil with circuit breaker runs the electrics.

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

We admire the fact that the seller has appeared to resist the temptation of opening up the crate fully to reveal all of the goodies inside. Just like tearing through wrapping paper on a Christmas morning as a kid, opening up this crate will be half the fun for the buyer. All parts and tags appear to be untampered with, and the seller goes on to say: “The box inside we are assuming is the carburetor.”

Waiting Since WW2: Crated NOS 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Flathead V-Twin

Provided paperwork gives instructions on how to remove the engine from the crate.

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