I'm fascinated to see Vauxhall Cars referring to its heritage as "British firm since 1905". I was always under the impression that it was bought by General Motors "many moons" ago. The Americanisation of British industry was widespread in the early part of the twentyish century. The British Government even maintained a strict quota to limit the number American film that could be shown.This was to help preserve the native culture by protect its film industry.
I've always wondered if things ever went the other way and the Empire got its chance to strike back. Well back in the early 1950s the tables were turned.
The Indian Motorcycle Company of Springfield Massachusetts was always a strong brand. Their victory in the first Isle of Man TT in 1914 put the mark on the map for decades to come.
After The Second World War sales slumped as men returning home bought cars to ferry their postponed families around. Indian at one stage resorted to importing 125cc two stroke machines from CZ to save on the cost of development. Things came to head in 1953 when production halted and the firm was sold to Brockhouse Limited.
Brockhouse Limited was a successful engineering firm from West Bromwich in England. If it was metal , Brockhouse could make it and they branched out in to all manner of manufacturing. When they saw Indian for sale they knew that they could turn a profit from such a well know make.
Shrewdly Brockhouse didn't saddles themselves with the financial burden of producing their own motorcycle designs from scratch. They rebadged Royal Enfield bikes as Indian. Unfortunately the American public wasn't fooled by these "Limey Interlopers" leading to sales being poor. One can only imagine the poor salesman trying to convince customers that it was a genuine Indian when it sported left footed braking. They had more success selling AJS and Matchless machines through the extensive Indian dealership network .
Brockhouse reduced wheel sizes from 19 to 16 inches and lengthening the wheel base to give a the bikes a American feel. Many in the US felt that the Royal Enfield Indians were a bit fast and lacked the smooth running cruising grace seminomas with American machines.
Many other cosmetic alterations were tried but the rights to Indian Motorcycles were eventually sold to another English firm AEC in 1960.
Only 7000 "Royal Indians" were ever sold, to be fair to Brockhouse they kept the Indian brand alive when cheap cars and even cheaper gasoline became king.
Stay safe,ride safe and be lucky