Stolen 1954 Harley Hydra-Glide Returned After 42 years

harley-davidson1This week, Customs and Border Protection Agents returned to Edgar Howard Johnson the motorcycle which was stolen in 1972 from his father, a police officer from North Carolina.

harley-davidson2The 1954 FL Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide motorcycle was intercepted last month at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport where it was about to be shipped to Australia.

“My dad would be tickled to get it back if he was still alive,” said Johnson, whose father passed away four years ago. “The Harley, worth an estimated $24,000 appeared to be in mint condition. It was green when stolen but was since painted bright yellow. It also has a “trumpet style horn” and a medallion on its front fender commemorating Harley-Davidson’s 50th anniversary.

9 Responses to “Stolen 1954 Harley Hydra-Glide Returned After 42 years”

  1. 1 Sharkey Oct 5th, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Good catch; it would be interesting to know “the rest of the story”

  2. 2 James just another crazy Kiwi Oct 5th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Some where in Aussie someone is feeling quite pissed off

  3. 3 Dave Blevins Oct 5th, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Glad the bike was returned, a shame it took so long though.
    Would be interesting to know why it came to be found, where it has been, and how the rightful owner was finally discovered… I assume its North Carolina ID was long gone and no numbers on the neck back then, and while this was an owner’s pride and joy in 1972, it would not have a value that the cops would really give the search a top priority. In fact, I’m surprised they had any record of it still being known to be a stolen bike at all.
    Sharkey is right, the rest of the story would be worth knowing.

  4. 4 MAGNET MAN Oct 6th, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Alls well that ends well!

  5. 5 Tommy Boy Oct 6th, 2014 at 7:13 am

    As an FYI, stolen vehicle reports NEVER go away. Titles and calls to local PDs or MVDs do not provide definitive confirmation of legal transfer. In this case Customs did their job by requesting a NICB HISTORICAL review prior to releasing the bike for shipment. With all sorts of old muscle cars and motorcycles being advertised as barn finds with only a bill of sale or a duplicate title; the old adage is more appropriate today than ever before – “If it’s too good to be true, it is.”

  6. 6 nicker Oct 6th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    “… the rest of the story would be worth knowing. …”

    Spot on.
    A scooter like that gets a lot of attention.
    If the numbers weren’t changed it would have been spotted by now.

    If they were Obviously changed, it would have been spotted by now.
    If the number job and paperwork had been done well, it would never have been caught.

    So, there is more to it. I’m think-n someone must have know and blown the whistle.


  7. 7 Blackmax Oct 6th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Glad they found it before they made it “offshore”
    But as everyone else is saying there has GOT to be more to this story ????

  8. 8 Iron Dan Jan 25th, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I found a way to make money at…just kidding! I read a story a few years ago about a guy’s stolen ‘Bette being recovered decades later. It was kinda beat up when it was stolen, and he got it back fully restored!

  9. 9 Iron Dan Jan 25th, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Vette! Freaking auto correct!

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Cyril Huze