“You tell people you ride a Harley and they go, ‘Oh!’ Tell people you ride an Indian, they go ‘Ooohhhhhh!’”
I first met Gerry Grimes at a swap meet in Englishtown, New Jersey, about two years ago. I had fallen in love with his 1941 Chevrolet barn-find pickup. A year later, he was back at the swap meet with the old pickup and we struck up a conversation about his collection. Gerry had worked for Jeep for most of his life. He was also the Dodge dealer Viper certified mechanic for two years. “I was trained professionally by Jeep. I worked at Jeep dealers my whole life, and then in around ‘03 or ‘04, I had enough work just working here in my driveway that I didn’t have to work for them anymore,” he said.
The Sport Scout was first introduced by the Indian Motorcycle Company in 1934 and stayed in production until 1942. While Harley Davidson had won the bid for official motorcycles of the U.S. Military, many Indian Sport Scouts found their way into use during WWII, primarily on U.S Army bases within the United States.
Gerry’s example was in all likelihood pieced together after the war using leftover military and civilian bike parts. It is an example of utilitarian and civilian, set apart by showroom paint.
To call Gerry a proud owner would be an understatement. The utter joy can be seen on his face in the way it lights up just from talking about his bike. His enthusiasm can be felt in listening to him explain how he had grew up dreaming of an Indian Motorcycle and once finally owning one, never letting it go. “I’d never be able to replace it. Right? Where am I going to go and get another one?”
Gerry had purchased his Indian about eighteen years ago off as friend in Vermont. “He was a highly skilled restoration guy, and he had it,” Gerry explained. “It was one of his projects. We brought it back (to New Jersey) in a 1963 Chevrolet ambulance.”
He is enjoying his toys and preserving pieces of American history at the same time.