As beautiful is at is rare, only just over sixty of these motorcycles were ever produced. Finding one today would be like finding a diamond in the rough, both in terms of the old saying as well as in terms of collectors’ pricing.
An On and Off Again Company
The history of the Crocker Motorcycle Company is a checkered one. Founded in 1931, the Crocker Motorcycle Company quickly rose to fame as a highly efficient and ingenious designer of motorcycle engines and models.
However, come 1942, despite being awarded a contract to produce motorcycles for the US military, Crocker officially ceased production of their motorcycles in order to focus on more profitable enterprises such as airplane part manufacturing, as the war effort had severed the company’s access to affordable materials.
The company has since been revived, being given a jolt of life in 1999 under the same name, this time primarily as a part-manufacturer rather than a motorcycle manufacturer, though Crocker still does make Small Tank and Big Tank Crockers in California.
First of a Kind Design
The Crocker V-Twin motorcycle model was the first American-built motorcycle to feature the use of overhead valves, having been released several months prior to Harley-Davidson’s Knucklehead.
Crocker motorcycles were known for their “hemi-head” designs, which was particularly true of the V-Twin, which boasted a 1,000cc engine with approximately 60 horsepower. Given the standards of the 1930s, this was an incredible feat of engineering.
60 Models in One Generation
As only just over 60 models finished production, there was never a second generation of Crocker V-Twins, but this is not to say that all Crocker V-Twins are identical. Each was customized to the buyer’s demands, as was standard of the time, making each slightly different.
- Crocker V-Twin (1936-1942)
With horsepower estimates ranging from 55 to 60, the engine in the Crocker V-Twin was more powerful than any motorcycle engine put forth by Crocker’s primary competitors of the day: Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Indian Motorcycles.
The Crocker motorcycles were better than their competitors in more categories than just power. Crocker V-Twins were known for being the largest capacity production motorcycle of the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, with displacement sizes ranging as high as 1,491 cubic centimeters.
News of the Crocker V-Twin
Although the Cocker Motorcycle Company has seen a rebirth in both production and popularity, only Small Tanks and Big Tanks are being produced today. The V-Twin, however, made headlines when one was sold in 2015 at a world-record price of $385,000.
Fifteen Seconds of Fame
Because of the short production time, popularity limited to collectors and historians focusing on superbikes, motorcycles, and scooters, no major film or TV producer has yet to incorporate the Crocker V-Twin into his/her set design.
It’s quite a feat of research to be able to find a fan group or page on social media dedicated to following the Crocker Motorcycle Company, in part because the company as we knew it from the ‘30s and 40’s is long gone. However, feel free to check out the company’s Facebook page, which has over 29,000 likes.
The Crocker V-Twin – An American Classic
Despite being pulled from production after only such a short period of time, Crocker V-Twin motorcycles are nonetheless part of history. Hand-crafted, custom-built, and designed by the owner of the company, Crocker’s V-Twins tell a story of the American Dream thriving in a time of worldwide turmoil.