1924 Henderson 1,301cc 11.9hp Four-Cylinder De Luxe
Lot 348
1924 Henderson 1,301cc 11.9hp Four-Cylinder De Luxe
Sold for £17,250 (US$ 25,706) inc. premium

Lot Details
1924 Henderson 1,301cc 11.9hp Four-Cylinder De Luxe 1924 Henderson 1,301cc 11.9hp Four-Cylinder De Luxe
1924 Henderson 1,301cc 11.9hp Four-Cylinder De Luxe
Registration no. XY 575
Frame no. 1094
Engine no. D12309A
W.G. ‘Bill’ Henderson’s first four-cylinder motorcycle appeared in 1911, a sensational new design with four separate, air-cooled cylinders, arranged in line and featuring overhead inlet valves with side exhaust valves. Transmission was by chain in the conventional manner and the elastic double front fork was simple and pleasing in appearance ‘there being no complication of trusses, exposed springs and projecting parts’. The Henderson was commonly accepted to be the Rolls-Royce of American motorcycles and in Europe had few equals. As in the automobile field, the American motorcyclist was attracted to power and the massive Henderson competed directly with the powerful, multi-cylinder offerings from both Harley-Davidson and Indian. The in-line 1,301cc, four-cylinder engine of 1924 demanded a long wheelbase and this model – the largest capacity motorcycle marketed in its day – was perhaps more suited for use with a sidecar than as a solo. Some examples were offered with optional reverse gears. The American Excelsior Co. of Chicago, Illinois, continued manufacture of the most exclusive and highest quality motorcycles until 1931 when the effects of the recession had taken its toll.

It is known that this machine was purchased second-hand in 1925 by a Mr F Firth from Melchior, Armstrong and Dessau (London) Ltd, sole Henderson concessionaires in London. At that time it was equipped with a sidecar and it was still licenced as a combination as late as 1946. In 1957 it was acquired for preservation by the then Montagu Motor Museum and has been on display ever since. This exceptionally special machine is equipped with electric lighting, electric klaxon, a Corbin 0-100mph speedometer, an oil pressure gauge and a Weston ammeter. It is presented, correctly liveried with black frame and handlebars and dark blue petrol tank bearing the Henderson badge. Cosmetic appearance generally is good with that delightful patina acquired from much cherishing in a museum environment. We recommend careful recommissioning in view of the fact that this machine has not been actively used for many years. It is offered with a Swansea V5 registration document.
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