Classic bike restored for OPP museum

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Photo: OPPMuseumFriends.ca
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Photo: OPPMuseumFriends.ca

Quick, name the oldest surviving OPP vehicle. Is it a Model A, or a Studebaker, or something like that?

Nope, it’s a 1931 Henderson Four, and now you can check it out at their museum on Memorial Street in Orillia.

Ontario’s finest recently pulled the wraps off the newly restored Henderson as part of their new Behind the Badge exhibit, which also has some other examples of OPP firsts, which CMG readers will probably find a little less interesting.

You can find a few more details on the Henderson Four restoration here. The bike was donated by the family of OPP Chief Superintendent Robert “Bert” McKie in 1996. When McKie was on the force in the ’30s, police riders had to buy their own cycles and do their own wrenching. McKie purchased the bike from the OPP at some point (it was originally purchased from the McBride dealership) and restored it himself, and museum staff decided to revisit the machine to make sure it would continue to last as a specimen of the days when the OPP didn’t even have patrol cars.

The restoration was started in 2012. Throughout the process, the mechanics tried to keep the machine’s unique touches present, even hand-building a rack to replicate an original one seen in photos.

If you want to see a Henderson police bike in action, check below. Jay Leno’s got one, and he put together a YouTube video.

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