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Remembering the 1940 Crocker V-Twin

1940 Crocker V-Twin

The 1940 Crocker V-Twin motorcycle, also known as the “Big Tank,” is one of the rarest American motorbikes. The bike made its first debut in 1935 and was named the fastest production bike in the United States. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin comes with various functional and aesthetic designs, including an Overhead-valve (OHV) 1000cc V-twin engine, three-speed gear transmission, cast aluminum fuel tanks, and so much more. Since its release, the Crocker has been well-known for its endearing and tangible features, which clearly distinguish merely ordinary motorbikes from true significant ones. Unlike earlier models that incorporated a hemispherical head with exposed valve springs, the recent Crocker models came with a squish-type, flat combustion chamber with unexposed valve springs. During the time of its release, the 1940 Crocker V-Twin bike was sold with an unrivaled OHV 1000cc V-Twin, which proved to overpower the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead for a couple of months. The 1940 “Small Tank” engine can produce up to 60 horsepower and reach maximum speeds of 120 mph. No attempt is made to hide the bike’s amazing features, such as; floorboard-style footrests, bicycle pedal kick-starter, cast aluminum fuel tanks, and the tank-mounted shifter. In addition to all Crocker V-Twin models having overhead valves, they also include a more upright suspension fork that improves the overall handling of the bike. Read on to learn more about the 1940 Crocker V-Twin motorcycle.


Thanks to its impressive road performance and legendary styling, the 1940 Crocker V-Twin bike is the ultimate American V-Twin model. The bike was designed by Albert Crocker, who created a machine that was incredibly faster than any other V-Twin model available at the time. The 1940 Crocker also came with an eye-catching look that was well-accentuated with the coolest customization trends of the late 1930s. Approximately 30 speedway bikes were first produced before the Crocker V-Twin was released to the market. The first Crocker V-Twin came fitted with a 1000cc (61 in3) OHV engine, producing between 55 and 60 horsepower, which was the largest horsepower produced by any Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycle at the time. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin also boasted of abbreviated front fenders, extra-thick cylinders, teardrop fuel tanks, bigger pistons, and high handlebars that were very rare in the late 1930s. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin could reach maximum speeds of 120-125 mph, making it the fastest production motorbike at the time.

During its debut back in 1936, every Crocker Big V-Twin model came installed with a 45-degree V-twin engine with a hemispherical OHV cylinder and an incredible 3-speed gearbox transmission. This 1000cc Big Twin engine produced between 55-60 hp, which exceeded its American rivals by about 40%. In 1938, Crocker decided to launch the late “Big Tanks” V-Twin models to enlarge their distinctive cast aluminum fuel tanks. Many Crocker models were manufactured by order, with the 1491cc (94 in3) being their largest engine capacity of the time. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin bike is a legendary and spectacular motorcycle, as it is arguably the most collectible motorbike ever manufactured. Unfortunately, production was halted in 1942; after the war, work restrictions were imposed. This led to an enormous shortage of critical manufacturing material, and Albert Crocker, the company’s founder, and proprietor, decided to cease motorcycle production. It is reported that approximately a hundred models of the Crocker V-Twin models had been produced before the war work restrictions.

Engine and Transmission

In the late 1930s, Albert Crocker established the Crocker Motorcycle Company and began producing the Crocker V-Twin bike – a legendary, overhead-valve, high-performance V-twin touring machine. This bike comes with a 1000cc (61 cubic inches) hemispherical OHV engine, which provides it with an impressive road performance. All Crocker models are built on customer specifications; thus, some V-Twin bikes come with a 1491cc (91 cubic inches) Hemi-head engine. According to Gaukmotors, the Crocker’s “Big Tank” earned its reputation of being the fastest motorbike of the era after beating the Harley-Davidson’s V-Twin model. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin made its first debut in 1935, and the manufacturing brand intended to make it the most powerful and durable V-Twin model on the market. That said, they fitted it with a 45-degree V-twin hemispherical OHV cylinder engine, a three-speed gearbox transmission, and a nearly ‘square’ bore x stroke (3.62 x 3.25 inches). However, the first Crocker models came with a pair of cast aluminum fuel oil 2.5-gallon tanks, Indian brake shoes, headlamps, and timing gears.

Other features

The 1940 Crocker V-Twin model comes with a number of functional and sleek design features of its production era. The company’s founder and proprietor, Albert Crocker, decided to highlight a number of aesthetic features in the 1940 Crocker V-Twin motorbike: the tank-mounted shifter, a bicycle pedal kick-starter, floorboard-style footrests, and aluminum cast fuel/oil tanks. Additionally, the bike’s elegance and functionality are presented through the unrivaled 1000cc hemispherical OHV engine, which ensures the bike provides a unique ride experience. The 1940 Crocker V-Twin motorcycle is arguably the fastest and most desirable V-Twin model of its era.


Generally, all Crocker V-Twin models are very expensive motorbikes. According to Motorbiscuit, the 1940 Crocker was sold at a bidding price of $230,000 at the MidAmerica Auctions motorbike auction held in January 2007 in Las Vegas. Moreover, the most recent sale of the 1940 Crocker V-Twin motorbike was at the Mecum Motorcycle Auction in January 2019, Las Vegas, where this legendary bike achieved a record-breaking sale of 704,000USD.

Final Thoughts

In addition to being one of the rarest all-American motorbikes of its time, the 1940 Crocker V-Twin comes with amazing and unique features, including; a powerful 1000cc (61 cubic inches), aluminum cast oil/fuel tanks, a bicycle pedal kick-starter, and many other features.

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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