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GCG BLOG

Harley Davidson Golf Carts - A Quick History

When somebody mentions Harley Davidson, we think of motorcycles. And, why not? The Harley Davidson's name is synonymous with motorcycles in a way that no other manufacturer is, and the company has been making motorcycles since the turn of the last century. 

But do you know Harley Davidson also had a unique line of golf cart manufacturing? The company is worldwide famous for its iconic motorcycle, but most are unaware of its incredible golf cart line that started in the 60s. Although they no longer produce golf carts, you may find one on the market used or have one already.

History of Harley Davidson Golf Carts

First, let's look at the history of Harley Davidson golf carts.

Start of Harley Davidson Golf Cart in 1963

In 1963, William Davidson joined the company, and Harley-Davidson got into manufacturing golf carts. They started with the three-wheeled models. These unique LSVs shared the same design until the 1970s, when an additional tire was added to some models, and a new fuel source was introduced. 

The earliest golf cart models used a 245 cc dual-cycle single-cylinder air-cooled engine that mixed oil with gas equally for small vehicles.

In 1969 Harley Davidson Created the Electric Golf Cart

Harley Davidson stopped manufacturing carts in 1969 because the American Machine & Foundry Company (AMF) bought the brand. Before AMF sold the LSV department, an electric powered golf cart known as the 1969 Harley Davidson Electric low-speed vehicle was made. This three-wheeled cart had ample storage space behind the bench seat, a single headlight, and a shaped steering wheel.

To find out if a Harley cart is a 1969 electric model, check the digits of the serial number on the plate located near the battery. If the first four characters are XXDE, it is a genuine 1969 Harley Davidson Electric golf cart.

Harley Davidson LSVs Came in 1970

By the 1970s, the golf cart manufacturer deviated from electric golf cart models. In 1971 the company updated its name to AMF. Golf carts were first labelled with the AMF logo in 1972. Under the AMF tag, two gas-powered golf carts were developed, one with three wheels and another with four. 

In addition to changing the fuel source and wheel count, the place of the serial plate was shifted. If the code starts with 3B, it is an official Harley Davidson gas-powered golf cart. If not, other codes may be compared in this article.

1981 Was the Year of the Harley Davidson AMF Golf Cart

Harley Davidson Electric-powered golf carts with a serial number starting with 4B are the last models made by the original manufacturer and AMF. As a result, the 1981 golf cart models are highly sought after by collectors. So, if you find the AMF logo on the body, you can age your cart between 1972 to 1981.

1982 Harley Davidson Par Car Golf Cart

In 1982, Columbia Par Car purchased a golf cart division from AMF and slightly modified the engine's pistons. Columbia Par Car is one of the significant manufacturers of gasoline and electric golf carts and continues to manufacture golf carts. So if you find the piston size is larger, you can guess their age to be around the time they were purchased by Columbia Par Car. 

The three and four-wheeled carts came equipped with a 250cc, two-cycle gas engine until 1996 when a 4-cycle Briggs & Stratton 9hp Vanguard engine became slandered. The body's design switched permanently to four wheels, which could be seen as the end of the Harley Davidson cart production.

The CLASSIC Harley Davidson Golf Cart Model

Over the years, Harley Davidson models have come and gone, but the 'Classic' body style, with the deep, lift back body, is well known. It first appeared as a three-wheeler in 1963, and later a four-wheeled cart was made. The unique feature of the three-wheel Harley Davidson golf cart was the tiller steering handle. The tiller was the steering bar used instead of a steering wheel. 

The entire rear body lifted and hinged rearward to reveal the whole engine compartment. The three-wheel Harley Davison golf cart was common on any golf course in the late 60's and throughout the 70's. Harley Davidson manufactured the golf cart for 19 years, and the classic body style changed very little over the years.

How to Find the Year of Your Harley Davidson Golf Cart?

People interested in the Harley Davidson Golf cart should know how to read the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). There are different ways, like a simple serial number arrangement or the solenoids in your electrical engine. The easiest way to know the age of your Harley Davidson golf cart is to use the serial plate. Basically, this plate is located somewhere on the rear wheel of the cart.

The vehicle identification numbers of most early Harley Davidson and Columbia golf carts are placed into a metal plate just above the rear tire onto the cross brace. Later golf cart models will have numbers located behind the batteries on the wall of the battery box. 

The electric golf cart model DE40 and MG IV are under the driver's side seat just to the rear batteries on the transverse frame member. These 36-volt electric models, made in the late 70s and early 80s, had '8D'.

Starting in 1970, the first two characters indicate the model, and the last two characters show the year of manufacture numbers. 'HO' suggests the car was made in 1970, 'H9' indicates 1979, 'JO' indicates 1980, and 'J1' shows 1981.

Later in 1982, the designated decade of manufacture changed to a 'C,' so a 'C2' was made in 1982, 'C8' suggests a 1988 model. The prefix later 'D' in the last two characters indicates the decade of the 1990s.

Harley Davidson Golf Cart Today

Harley Davidson golf carts are now a classic piece of machine history and considered a worthy treasure to be purchased, and many enthusiasts take pride in restoring them. Although restoring these vintage golf carts is not always easy. Most Harley Davidson golf cart parts are rare and hard to find, so good research is needed to bring the carts up to their classic condition.

The Worth of a Harley Davidson Golf Cart

Valuing the Harley Davidson golf carts today is difficult as most carts will be in a condition of repair or disrepair. Most of them are available to buy online, at auction, on Craigslist, and some dealers sell them as well.

In case of any query or concern regarding golf cart parts, get in touch with our team of experts at Golf Cart Garage!