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Remembering The 1937 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car GE

1937 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car GE

The Harley-Davidson Servi-Car GE was a three-wheeled vehicle manufactured by Harley-Davidson. It is the longest-running Harley Davidson model. Production began in 1932 and continued until 1973, when it was replaced by the F.X. Super Glide with front forks. The Servi-Car served a variety of purposes and was used by police departments, businesses, and even as a tow vehicle for disabled planes. Its timely production came at a time when bikes were popular. The following are the facts that favored the dominance of the Harley Davidson model: First, the Great Depression had been going strong for three years. The country was broke, many businesses were failing, and people were struggling to make ends meet. For all but the wealthiest Americans, the idea of buying any kind of recreational vehicle was laughable. Second, a new form of personal transportation had arrived on the scene: automobiles. It had enclosed cabins and pedals that could be depressed by foot to control speed. This boosted the customer experience in the privilege to own a four-wheel as the cars took over the roads. While motorcycles might have been cheaper than cars, they still required some basic mechanical knowledge to operate and maintain, and they weren’t as comfortable. Many early motorcycle models didn’t even have a clutch pedal; riders had to use their right feet to change gears. That meant keeping one eye on the road ahead while using your other foot to push down on a lever — not exactly safe or convenient.

History and Evolution Harley-Davidson

At a glance, one may think that the Harley model was an effort of two people(Harley and Davidson). However, it took three of David’s sons and Harley to develop a brand that would announce a revolution in America. William Harley and Arthur Davidson grew within the same neighborhood. Though they had a one-year difference, their love for bicycles made them inseparable. At 15, William took a job with a bicycle factory in Milwaukee. His diligence earned him the promotion to a drafter from a cycle fitter, where he designed a combustion engine. Unknown to him, his model based on the Dion Bouton engine was a rebirth that would see its use among manufacturers of motorcycles. Determined to make a prototype of a motorcycle, Arthur and William, and his other friend worked tirelessly to achieve a change under a small shade. However, their pursuit was short-lived when they realized that they needed a machinist to make their dream a reality. In 1904, the trio completed the first-ever motorcycle as their second prototype with the help of Arthurs’s eldest brother. Fortunately, they participated in a motorcycle race that helped mark the history of the Harley Davidson motorcycle as a worthy invention.

The Harley-Davidson Servi-Car was an American three-wheeled utility motorcycle produced by Harley-Davidson from 1932 to 1973. The forecast design was used by police departments worldwide and other organizations such as the US Postal Service. The Servi-Car began production in July of 1932 and ended in January of 1972, a forty-year production run. In 1953, it received a new front end with larger springer forks. In 1965, the Servi-Car received an electric start, and in 1973 the Servi-Car was discontinued due to poor sales. As a result of its long production span, the engine went through four major changes over the years: 1932 – 1936: The first Servi-Car was equipped with a 750 cc side-valve engine with mechanical valves and magneto ignition. 1937 – 1973: The second generation Servi-Car was introduced in 1937. It came with an overhead valve engine with hydraulic valves and battery/coil ignition. For 1950, the servi-car received a new cast-iron cylinder head and rocker boxes but retained its steel cylinders. In 1958, Harley Davidson introduced aluminum cylinder heads on all their big twins, which also found their way onto the Servi-Car.

The Main Features

When you think of a Harley Davidson, chances are you imagine a motorcycle with that classic arched frame and the roar of an engine. In contrast, G.E. was known for its quietness – and there are several reasons for that. It had gear-driven transmission and a primary drive, along with full pressure lubrication. It also had a three-speed transmission in the rear axle housing, a mechanical rear wheel brake, and a front hub brake. The paint was black enamel, which was the standard color for the Servi-Car GE at the time. To top it all off, it featured two sidecars (one on either side) and a large shipping box between them.

Why the “G.E.” In The 1937 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car GE

It’s not clear who the G.E. moniker is honoring, but Harley-Davidson was a major supplier of motorcycles to the military during WWII. The G.E. was introduced in 1932 in response to a need for a vehicle that could be used to transport both people and merchandise. In the same year, the Servi-Car went through a redesign, switching from having side valves to overhead valves, and about two years later, it received an electric starter. General Electric - or “G.E.” for short - became one of Harley-Davidson’s most iconic models of three-wheelers, even though it only lasted 37 years after being introduced. Most Servi cars produced for military use in WWII remained popular amongst their customers.

What Makes Harley Davidson So Special

Since its invention in the 1900s, this model has seen many reinventions that cannot compare to other brands. It has distinct replaceable body part to improve on its efficiency. So, unlike other models, buyers need not a new bike upon slight damage. Besides, the Harley Davidson models are all customer-centric. These bikes are made to last.


Despite the Harley Davidson exiting the market due to the low sales, this model remains a favorite among bike enthusiasts. Through The Hero Motocorps retail, these bikes are slowly having a come back. However, just like those times, a motorcycle is a great asset. So, with proper management and boosting, this model remains a possible gold mine in our time.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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