1938 Indian

Originally Published In The May 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Mark had a Panhead bobber build that he had picked up from his buddy Dean Black a few years back. Mark was looking for a new project and when he dropped by Dean’s shop. Dean told him he had an Indian with a nice Chief Basket that would make a cool bobber. After thinking it over, Mark said he was in! Not a day later Mark went back to the shop second guessing his decision to take on the Chief. He worried that the build would be too similar to his recent Panhead project and wanted to explore other options, if there were any available. Black remember that he had squirreled away a personal project and ended up pulling out a 1938 Sport Scout. It was a sweet basket case with matching numbers, a good engine, correct wheel’s, and lots of other good stuff. Dean intended to build it like a track bike and pulled out some books he used for inspiration to show Mark. There were some race bikes that sparked Mark’s interest, so a deal was struck, and the new project was on.

It took about a year and a half to complete the work from the ground up. The frame and all the steel parts were blasted, and epoxy primed, followed up and with the straightening and fitting of the parts. The fenders were already cut, so they were just trimmed to provide a better flow. Dean stripped the wheels and painted the hubs and rims. Black used got Buchanan’s stainless steel spokes, because he knew that if you dust them with glass bead, they will look like original cadmium but will not rust. Dean had to lace and true the wheels and had all new bearings installed. In the meantime, Mark found some aggressive tires that looked pretty cool and would fit the aesthetics of the bike. Dean was in the process of finishing another Indian project when Mark spotted the color he was using; Indian Dark Blue. Mark wanted to use the same paint but wanted to two-tone the ’38, with a nice silver. Hours of bodywork later, Dean sprayed the two colors before taking it to a friend of a friend to have it finished.

With that out of the way, Dean focused on the motor, and no expense was spared. The motor has all new races, bushings, valves, guides, etc. Rick at Rayco Machine handled the boring and honing of the parts, he’s the goto guy around the northeast and is very knowledgeable. Black managed the assembly. They used a couple of early parts on the 38, like the 1935 Indian tail light and a chain guard that are smaller than the stock parts but have cleaner lines. When Dean finished the Scout, he took Mark out to give him some lessons on the foot clutch and he was good to go. Although Mark loves the 38, he didn’t ride it all that much. He spent most of his time riding the crap out of his Pan. Eventually, he decided he didn’t need two bikes, so a call was placed to Black to see if he knew anyone that might want to add it to their stable. Lucky for Mark during his build another of Dean’s customers, Maloney, had fallen in love with the 38 and expressed an interest in wanting to make it his own.

In the meantime, Dean had taken the bike to a show, and people were all over it. Mark was at the same show with one of his cars, and after seeing all the interest in his bike, he started to have second thoughts about parting with the show stopper. Knowing full well that if they waited too long, Maloney jumped on the chance and the purchase was made, and he is now the proud owner of this beautiful ‘38 Indian Scout. As luck would have it, this bike would end up being great practice for using a suicide shifter which he would need for running his 1928 bike in the upcoming motorcycle cannonball event.


OOwner: James Maloney

City/State: Hopkinton MA

Builder: Dean Black

Year: 1938

Model: Indian Sport Scout

Value: Not Enough

Time: Stopped keeping track


Year: 1938

Model: Sport Scout

Builder: Dean Black

Ignition: Morris Mag

Displacement: 750

Pistons: .030

Heads: Stock

Carb: Linkert

Cam: Bonnie

Air Cleaner: Indian

Exhaust: Flat Track -Vintage Cycle Bay

Primary: Stock


Year: 1938

Make: Indian

Shifting: Hand Shift Foot Clutch


Year: 1938

Model: Indian

Rake: None

Stretch: None


Builder: Indian

Type: Girder

Triple Trees: Stock

Extension: None


Front Wheel: Stock

Size: 4.50-18


Front Brake: Stock

Rear Wheel: Stock

Size: 4.50-18


Rear Brake: Stock


Painter: Dean Black

Color: Indian Dark Blue and Silver


Graphics: Captain Ken



Bars: 2” Rise Flat Track

Risers: Bate’s Style

Hand Controls:

Foot Controls: Indian-Drilled out

Gas Tank(s): Stock

Oil Tank: In Gas Tank

Front fender: Indian -Bobbed

Rear Fender: Indian -Bobbed

Seat: Brown Upholstery

Headlight: 5”

Tail light: Modified 1935 Indian

Speedo: None

Photographer: Joshua Elzey

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