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Bike of the Month

May 2017

1953 Harley-Davidson Servi Car

by Dick Toth

In 2001 I purchased a Harley-Davidson 45” flathead engine that was missing a few parts, but was a good deal.  After doing some research, I found the engine to be from a 1953 Model  G Servi-Car.   The trikes were produced from 1932 through 1973 and powered by the venerable 45 ci flathead engine.  


Then with the power of Ebay, I found a 1953 trike missing an engine.  It was original and not modified but a little rusty. After purchasing it, I began the restoration of a trike.


I tried really hard to decipher the advertisement on the back of the box to include as part of the restoration. It was used in at least two businesses one of which was Texaco Service.


Now more researching and finding the correct original parts for that year:

Learning how to deal with rust is a must for restoration!

The rear compartment was totally rusted out, and someone had replaced the floor with a thick piece of sheetmetal that weighed 45 lbs.

With the help of Joe Brown at ABC Sheetmetal in Carson City, the 18ga. floor and double side panels were cut and fabricated for the restoration.



Then came the primer and paint.  “Pepper Red” was one of the colors for 1953. I needed to make special jigs for painting the tanks, body and fenders:

In the end, it’s all worth the time and effort and the feeling of accomplishment.  Now the fun begins, antique shows to judge the restoration, and riding around with a smile on my face.

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