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1940 Harley-Davidson UA Is a Modern G.I. Joe’s Best Friend, But a Very Expensive One

Harley-Davidson’s involvement with the military is common knowledge even among those not passionate about two-wheelers. After all, for the duration of the Second World War, the Milwaukee company delivered about 70,000 motorcycles, in both American (WLA) and Canadian (WLC) army specs.
1940 Harley-Davidson UA 24 photos
1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA1940 Harley-Davidson UA
WLAs and WLCs are the most famous of militarized Harleys and real treasures on today’s collectors’ market. But there is one version of a specialized flathead bike that’s rarer than both and possibly more valuable: the UA.

Records say about 4,000 of these machines were ever made and served with various branches of the American military, including the Marine Corps (about 300 of them), and the National Guard. Of course, not many of them survived to our time, and of that select bunch, few, if any, look as imposing as the one we have here.

A 1940 model year by birth (the range was in production in 1939 as well), this UA wears the telltale paint of things made for use at the hands of soldiers. It is said to be one of just a little over 500 of them produced that year and comes powered by a flathead engine running a 3-speed transmission.

This one looks to be in such a good condition because it was the subject of a careful restoration conducted by an unnamed “expert in early Harley-Davidsons." And as with any machine well taken care of, the next phase of its life would be to find a new owner.

The UA is for sale as part of a Mecum auction scheduled to be held in Monterey in mid-August. It’s one of the stars of the multi-day sale, going under the hammer on Friday, August 19, complete with expectations it could fetch as much as $75,000.

For true fans, that steep price will matter little, probably. We’ll come back on this story as soon as we learn how much a modern G.I. Joe dreaming of owning it decided to pay.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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