20 December 2013

The Intrinsic Connection between the Liturgy and Harley Davidson

The last really beautiful bike made by Harley Davidson was the FL Duo-Glide, which the Motor Company made from 1958 to 1964. Although, the front end was made even more beautiful in 1960 with a two-piece stamped aluminium fork nacelle to shroud the headlight. Of course, the heart of the bike was the Panhead engine, which succeeded the Knucklehead in 1948. This is, by far, the most beautiful product of the Motor Company, but things began to change the following year.

In 1965, the Duo-Glide evolved into the Electra-Glide, which had 12-volt electrics and an electric starter. This made the bike easier to use, but the beautiful, often chrome, oil tank under the seat was replaced with an ugly box to hold the battery. The following year, the Panhaed was replaced with the Shovelhead. In 1969, American Machine and Foundry (AMF) bought the company, not really making it Harley Davidson any more. Then, in 1970, the Shovelhead underwent major revisions when its generator was replace by an alternator, thereby changing the shape of the bottom end.

Do you know about the 1965 Missal; and, what year the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum was promulgated (hint: the same year AMF bought HD); and, what year the Novus Ordo Missae began to be used (hint: the same year the generator was replace by an alternator)?

Fortunately, in 1981, AMF sold the company to a group of investors led by Vaughn Beals and Willie G. Davidson; and, in 1984, the beautiful oil tank came back with the introduction of the Softail.

Although the years aren't exactly the same, in 1980, Alice von Hildebrand was granted an audience with Pope John Paul II, part of which she describes as:
My main concern, however, was the fact that the Tridentine Mass had been prohibited. Indeed, some bishops declared that if a person attended the so-called old Mass on Sunday, he would not thereby fulfill his Sunday obligations. I introduced the question as follows: 
“Your Holiness, the last years of his life, my husband was much concerned about an ethical question: namely, whether it is ever legitimate to prohibit a holy tradition. Should not formal prohibitions be limited to what is evil or harmful? The Tridentine Mass has been a precious heritage for centuries, said by all priests until a few years ago. One thing was to introduce a new, valid liturgy; quite another was to prohibit one that all the fathers of Vatican II had prayed during the council.”
The pope was silent for a brief moment, and then said: “Your husband is no doubt one of the very great ethical thinkers of the 20th century.” I knew that the pope would consider this seriously. Soon afterward, he gave the indult.
The indult came in 1984, the same year the beautiful oil tank under the seat came back with the Softail.

1964: last year of the traditional, and beautiful, Duo-Glide with the oil tank under the seat
1964: last year of the traditional, and beautiful, Tridentine Mass in Latin (although you didn't have to change if you didn't want to)
1965: first year of the Electra-Glide with electric starter and ugly box replacing beautiful oil tank under the seat
1966: Panhaed replaced with the Shovelhead
1965 to 1967: Changes were officially introduced into the Mass reflected in the provisional vernacular translations produced in various countries (i.e. the English "1965 Missal") 
1969: American Machine and Foundry (AMF) buys Harley Davidson
1969: the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum promulgated  
1970: the generator was replace by an alternator
1970: Novus Ordo Missae obligatory 
1981: Willie G. Davidson and others buy back Harley Davidson from AMF
1980: Alice von Hildebrand granted an audience with Pope John Paul II 
1984: introduction of the Softail with an oil tank similar to the Duo-Glide
1984: indult authorising celebrations of the Tridentine Mass

Are all these years just a coincidence?
Yes, I think they are.

(What? Were you expecting me to say something crazy?)