The Crocker was built heavy duty for maximum performance, custom-tailored to the individual rider’s order, and built in Al Crocker’s own facility. Each buyer could choose color, degree of chrome trim, and even gear ratio and displacement.
Al Crocker founded Crocker Motorcycles in 1936, having spent 20+ years honing his skills engineering and designing bikes for Indian. Al and his former foreman at Indian, Paul Bigsby (who later went on to invent the famous Bigsby tremolo for guitars) knew they had the muscle and know-how to give the competition a serious run for their money. When Crocker introduced their first hand-built speedway racer bikes, they flat-out killed the competition, not just sweeping the boards– setting new standards for performance and quality that far exceeded Harley-Davidson, Indian and everyone else for years to come. They reigned as the baddest bikes around until 1942, when the company folded– unable to support it self due to a slow build time, material shortages brought on by the war, and an economic downturn. Incredibly, only around 100 bikes were produced during this time, but the legend and fervor lives on– with Crocker being among the rarest and most coveted motorcycles in the world to this day.
At the MidAmerica Auctions motorcycle auction in January 2007 in Las Vegas, a 1941 Crocker big tank (equipped with a 3 gallon cast aluminum fuel tank) motorcycle sold for $230,000. At the Gooding & Co. auction in 2006 in Chandler, a 1931 Crocker 61 sold for $236,500. At the Bonhams & Butterfield 2006 auction in New York, a 1937 Crocker “Hemi-head” V-Twin brought $276,500. At the 2006 auction of Bator International in California a 1939 Crocker 61 cubic-inch side valve model sold for $200,000.
Crocker introduced motorcycle design innovations that set his V-twin ahead of the Harleys and Indians of the mid 30’s and 40’s. The transmission could withstand incredible amounts of torque. This beautifully engineered three speed transmission coupled with a unique proprietary engine of Crocker’s own design laid shame to anything that dared cross its path.
So confident was Crocker with this magnificent machine that he offered to refund the full purchase price to any buyer who was beaten by a rider on a factory stock Harley or Indian bike. No refund was ever given.