35′ Indian Chief

Article And Photos By: Mark Velazquez

Originally Published In The February 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

In the world of custom motorcycle magazines, how cool is it when your tech sheet states stock, stock, stock. Well if your Larry Lenoci from Howell, New Jersey and can restore a ’35 Indian Chief to perfection with a little help from dad then why would custom even be an option. I first met Larry at the event know as Cheap Thrills on a cold winter day in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

My buddy Bob, an Indian lover himself, had told me there was a young guy that had some amazing Indians in the show that day and suggested I give them a look. As I worked my way through the sea of Choppers, Panheads, Shovels, and the remaining motley crew of bikes, I saw a young, quite young, man sitting next to three amazing Indians from days gone by, all restored to original perfection. This was Larry Lenoci. I introducedmyself to him and immediately fell in love with the blue ’35 Indian Chief you see before you. A shoot was scheduled, and the results were great images from a great day.

But of course, every good bike has a good story, and this one tells the tale that the days of a father passing on a passion to his son is an American tradition that will never fade. I say this because Larry and his father Nick have been buildingbikes together since Larry was about 13 years old. Now about to finish a degree in electrical engineering at Rutgers University the collection of restorations stands now at about thirteen in the stable and still growing. As for the ’35, this was actually a neighborhood find when one of Nick’s friend told him one night that someone who was just blocks away was selling a garage full of bike “stuff” for around $5k. As Larry tells it his dad went to check out this unheard tip, and that night the deal was done. In this deal were two 1935 Chiefs along with a ’47.

The ‘47 was taken that following weekend to a swap meet in PA and was sold at the cost of the entire find. The two ‘35’s remained behind and sat for almost ten years. So, at the age of around 14, the restoration of the ‘35 began! This would be the first bike Larry would truly restore with his dad and would be the first bike he would ride. With countless nights in the garage, this father and son team would restore every part of this basket case find back to its original state together. The engine and tranny were all done by Larry and his dad. When a part was needed, they could be found at swap meets and if the part wasn’t found there, they’d try any other way possible.

The one thing not done on this bike by Larry and his dad was the paint which was done by his uncle, also named Nick! In the end a true ground-up restoration was completed at home in the garage. When the day finally came, it was Larry who would take the ’35 out for its first ride on a cold New Jersey night. Being told in the final stage, if you can kick it, you can ride it and that he did. I don’t think neither Larry or his dad truly knows how much time was put into this keepsake. Still in the stable, bikes will come and go, but this one will more than likely stay with the family and stand the test of time to a bond that can’t be broken.


Owner: Lawrence Lenoci

City/State: Howell, NJ

Fab. By: Larry’s Vintage Cycles

Year: 1935

Model: Indian Chief

Value: –

Time: –


Year: 1935

Model: Chief

Builder: Nick Lenoci

Ignition: Distributor Points

Displacement: 74ci

Pistons: Indian Jade

Heads: Indian

Carb: Linkert

Cam: Indian

Air Cleaner: Indian

Exhaust: Indian

Primary: Indian


Year: 1935

Make: Indian

Shifting: Jockey Shift 3 Speed


Year: 1935

Make: Indian

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock


Type: Indian Leaf Spring

Builder: Indian

Extension: None

Triple Trees: Indian

Wheels, Tires, Brakes

Front Wheel: Indian

Size: 18”

Front Tire: Cheng Shin

Front Brake: Indian Drum

Rear Wheel: Indian

Size: 18”

Rear Tire: Cheng Shin

Rear Brake: Indian Drum


Painter: Nick Nikitin

Color: Dark Blue/ Gold Pin Striping

Type: Basecoat And Clear

Graphics: Indian Logo On Tank

Molding: None

Chroming: None


Bars: Indian Sport Bars

Fuel Tanks: Indian

Front Fender: Indian

Rear Fender: Indian

Seat: Indian

Foot Controls: Indian


Oil Tank: Indian

Headlight: Motolamp

Taillight: Indian

Speedo: None

Photographer: Mark Velazquez

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