There have been a surprising number of Harley Davidson V-Twin powered cars put together over the years and we’ve covered quite a few on The Kneeslider. It didn’t really strike me how many there were until I saw another example for sale and I started to think about it.
The latest one is this dragster style street rod for sale on eBay. I’ve never seen anything like this at the strip, but it looks pretty cool and I bet the owner gets a lot of looks on the street. It’s powered by an 88 inch Twin Cam up front run though a Toyota gearbox and rear end and there’s room for two on the motorcycle seat hidden within the bodywork. The owner says it’s street legal and the headlights, taillights and plate seem to back that up. For a car as light as this thing probably is, I’m guessing the performance is pretty reasonable, maybe not real dragster performance, but it looks like a fun build and the appearance is authentic in every other way.
A few years ago this Model T with a Sportster engine showed up for sale. I thought it was pretty interesting. It used the Sportster’s gearbox plus an electric reverse. I don’t have any more information about it, but the owner’s nephew did stop by in the comments who said the top speed was about 80 mph.
The HotRodHawg is a specialty car built and delivered to the customer as a roller chassis and body where you add the engine. It’s a tube chassis with fiberglass roadster bodywork that runs the Harley’s output through a 3 speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Not a bad looking little car.
This very cool little midget racer from back in the 1930s raced by Bill Vukovich Sr., was powered by the Drake V-Twin, which was a Harley Knucklehead with water jackets to get around the obvious cooling problems when an air cooled engine is hidden inside the bodywork. Nice.
Probably one of the sleekest setups was the Sundoulos Sportstar, a car that was originally designed for V8 power to race in the Grand-Am series until the rules changed on the builders and made the car obsolete before it was finished. The builder decided to salvage the effort and put together a pretty slick side by side V-Twin, two Harley engines mated together, but in an unusual 4 across tandem arrangement instead of in the quad 4 parallel setup you would expect. Gorgeous car, but a few years later they converted to Corvette LS-1 power, though I thought the twin Harley setup was an interesting outside the box concept.
Of course, the Ace Cycle Car, which eventually became the new Morgan 3 Wheeler, had a Harley V-Twin out front and it provides a rather sporty mount for weekend rides. Not a 4 wheeler, but very car like.
As long as we’re talking 4 wheelers, it’s probably a good time to remind you of the Harley quads, one homebuilt as an ATV and the really sweet looking kits from Q-Tec Engineering in Belgium to convert your Sportster or Softail to a 4 wheeler. They look extremely well done and if you could license them in the US for road use, I bet they would sell quite a few.
You know, if the engine works that well in all of these cars, you might think you could even put one in an airplane, … oh, wait, they’re doing that, too..
Like I said, I hadn’t given the Harley car idea much thought for a while and when I saw another one I realized they weren’t as uncommon you might think. If you watched any of the videos of the new Morgan 3 wheeler, powered by an S&S V-Twin, especially the one with Jay Leno bombing down an English country road, it’s apparent these V-Twins, that lots of guys like to say are low powered slugs, are actually very competent power plants, more than capable of a really satisfying and fun experience on four wheels as well as two. Neat stuff.