Today marks the 40th anniversary of Harley-Davidson becoming independent once again when a consortium of leadership bought back the company from American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1981.
Headed by Vaughn Beals, with Willie G. Davidson acting as cheerleader, the "Gang of 13" executives managed to raise $80 million, and in June 1981 the newly independent Motor Company was launched with the rallying cry “The Eagle Soars Alone.”
The deal actually came together In February 1981, when the Gang Of 13 originally signed a letter of intent to purchase Harley-Davidson from AMF (who had owned The Motor Company since 1969). On February 27, AMF announced the sale to the public... the deal was brought about in order to save Harley-Davidson from liquidation. This resulted in the sale of the company on June 16, 1981, back to Harley-Davidson investors.