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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Harley-Davidson DAH

Posted December 16, 2010 12:01 AM by dstrohl

Harley-Davidson was sick of getting their hill-climbing butts kicked by Excelsior Super-X and Indian 45s in the late Twenties. The AMA had established a 45-cubic-inch class for hill climbers in 1927, and both of those competitors immediately started producing winning bikes for that category, while Harley chose to compete with bikes using their underpowered 30-1/2-cubic-inch engines. They failed miserably, with Excelsior taking the championship in the new class from 1927-'30 and the Indian Altoona 750 OHV not far behind in terms of wins and podium finishes.

Harley began R&D on their own version of the 45-cubic-inch engine in 1928, but did not debut their newly designed engine until a race in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in July 1929. The purpose-built model DAH was the result of that research, and its effect on the hill-climbing class was felt almost immediately. A bike powered by the new 45 won one race in late 1929, and production of the DAH began shortly after, in 1930. Several factory racers, including Joe Petralli, won with the DAH during the 1932 season.

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