Author Topic: Harley Davidson Panhead powered FL models used in the movie Harper  (Read 397 times)

smallengineshop

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Harper released in 1966 starring Paul Newman, and Lauren Bacall, is a mystery film based on the novel The Moving Target. This movie was a tribute to the Humphrey Bogart detective movies and his character Sam Spade. You can watch this movie for free on Tubi.

There is a scene towards the end of the movie when Paul Newman's character wrecks his car and the California Highway Patrol show up to clean up the mess. Two Harley Davidson FL models used by CHP are parked at the scene with their lights on. Both bikes are powered by the Harley Davidson Panhead engine, which is obvious from the iconic pan shaped valve cover.

The Panhead engine was manufactured from 1948 when it replaced the Harley Davidson Knucklehead engine, to 1965 when it was replaced by the Harley Davidson Shovelhead engine. The Panhead engine is a air cooled, v-twin, overhead valve, push rod engine. Engine volume was available in 61 and 72 cubic inches or 1000cc and 1200cc respectively. The larger displacement engine was used in Harley Davidson FL models. I believe the FL models at this time used electric and kick start, and engine power was transferred to the rear wheel through a 4 speed manual transmission.

Harper was released in 1966 when Harley Davidson was using the new Shovelhead engine in FL models, but the film was actually shot in earlier years which is why you see Panhead powered FL models in the film.

This is a good film and I recommend everyone watch it.

Click image to enlarge:

CHP motorcycle in the movie Harper

Click image to enlarge:

CHP motorcycle in the movie Harper


« Last Edit: February 16, 2024, 05:02:21 PM by adminjoe »
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