Special Edition Harley Recovered 42 Years After Being Stolen

1954 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide
This 1954 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide was green when it was stolen from the backyard of Edgar Johnson Sr.

We could all use some good news now and again, and Edgar Johnson Jr. got his recently in the form of a Harley-Davidson recovered after being stolen from his father 42 years ago.

And it wasn’t just any motorcycle; it was a 1954 FL Hydra-Glide, the 50th Anniversary edition, the one with the special trumpet horn and a medallion on its front fender.

The machine was packed and crated and was on its way to Australia when it was intercepted by a group of cooperating officials with Customs Border Protection, Outbound Enforcement Team at the Los Angeles-Long Beach seaport, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and California Highway Patrol.

That's Edgar Johnson Jr. in the stylish shorts. His dad was a police officer.

The Harley was green when it was swiped from the backyard of Edgar Johnson Sr., a police officer, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The motorcycle changed hands at least four times and was repainted yellow along the way. Law enforcement officials say the original thief cannot be determined because of the passage of time and the deaths of some of the players. No arrests are planned, officials said.

The rules of the game say that the last “owner” is going to be out of a pile of cash. The buyer of a stolen vehicle doesn’t get his money back in a recovery.

The 50th Anniversary Harley-Davdison FL Hydra-Glide came with a medallion saying so.

Edgar Sr. died in October 2010, but his son said his father would naturally be “tickled to get it back” were he still alive. He rode on the back of it when he was young, his father at the controls.

“He loved his motorcycle and he talked about it till the day he died,” Johnson said.

“I remember my Dad picking me up from school with it one time. When the kids asked me if I was going to ride on that, I told them I sure am.”

The Hydra-Glide is valued at around $25K, though the machine is certainly worth more than that to the Johnson family.