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Origins

This motorcycle was purchased from Mecum’s Auction in Las Vegas and features the original paint.

The year 1966 was the first of the new Shovelhead engine, although the ‘FL’ model with 74 cu-in. (1200cc) had been offered since 1941 as an enlarged Knucklehead. In 1948, the FL became the Panhead, and ’66 was the next major change of engine style. The FLH model was the Duo Glide with full hydraulic suspension, and electric starting was added in 1965, which was of course included with the Shovelhead engine the following year. The new model was known as the ‘Electra Glide’ – one of the most evocative names in motorcycling history – and Harley’s big cruiser had a new frame to house the large 12-volt battery and a reshaped primary drive cover to accommodate the electric starter mechanism. H-D didn’t develop an entirely new engine for the Shovelhead but used a larger aluminum version of the Sportster cylinder head atop the Panhead crankcase, which added 5HP. The Shovelhead ‘Glide continued in production for another 18 years, later adding alternator electrics, electronic ignition and disc brakes.