Indian-badged motorcycles offered during the second half of the 1950s never became hot sellers, but that makes the models of that era all the more intriguing. And an example in such a good condition as this one is hard to come by, either because not so many have survived or haven’t been so well cared for.
The 1957 Indian Trailblazer you see here is an original model whose design is loosely based on the Royal Enfield Super Meteor of the same period, adapted for sale in the United States. It was built to be used as a cross-country touring motorcycle, that’s why it comes with optional saddlebags and a long-range 4.8-gallon (21.8-liter) fuel tank.
The motorcycle is finished in this appealing dark red hue, a staple of the Indian marque, and features a cream sprung single seat. Gold lettering can be seen on the fuel tank.
Other aesthetic elements include a chrome engine guard, large Indian-style fenders, a rear pannier rack over the rear fender, and a crash bar across the front of the frame.
Powered by a 700cc (actually 692cc) air-cooled parallel twin engine with semi-unit construction, overhead valves, and a four-speed gearbox, the Indian Trailblazer had the ability to deliver around 45 ps (44.3 hp). The final power, though, depended on the compression ratio pistons the bike was equipped with. The model you see here can reach 100 mph (160 kph), which may not seem much by today’s standards, but was quite impressive back in the ‘50s.
This very cool, overlooked piece of history is set to hit the auction block on September 24, 2022, through RM Sotheby’s, and the auction house estimates it will sell for between $5,000 and $10,000.