Ex-Otis Chandler, the only surviving example
1914 Flanders 67ci 7-9hp Model D Twin
Frame no. 7422
Engine no. 7012
The Flanders motorcycle had the unique provenance to be founded by one of the most influential men in the pioneer American automobile industry. Walter E. Flanders became an expert in mass production development in early automotive and machine tool industries. He was hired by Henry Ford in 1906 to assist his fledgling company towards Ford's vision of mass production. Flanders resigned from Ford less than two years later and co-founded the E-M-F Company along with Barney Everitt and William Metzger. He later founded another automobile factory, the United States Motor Company however when that failed, he assisted in the reorganization of the Maxwell car company. Following Flanders' departure from Maxwell, the company fell into debt and was picked and reorganized by one Walter P. Chrysler, who built his corporation out of Maxwell. Unfortunately, Walter Flanders died in a car accident in 1923.
In 1911 the Flanders Manufacturing Company was established in Pontiac, Michigan to produce modestly priced motorcycles. The first model, the Flanders 4 was a sturdy single cylinder belt drive motorcycle that produced 4 horsepower. Finished in gloss black, it was a handsome machine.
In 1914 Flanders developed the Model D v-twin, a sidevalve engine of 67 cubic inches, quite large for its day. It produced 7-9hp. The engine was complemented by the use of a Schebler carburetor and a Splitdorf magneto, components that were the best on the market. The frame was a conventional loop frame but still had its own unique characteristics. The engine was cradled by the lower frame section and the rear axle supports were unlike any in the industry as Flanders may have been putting his own mass production ideas to work. The front fork was similar to the Flanders 4 model but because of the added weight and stress of the twin cylinder engine, the spring fork contained a longer compression spring. The most interesting component on the motorcycle was the drive system where the drive chain originated directly from the engine sprocket resulting in a huge rear sprocket that contained damper springs to reduce the shock load from the engine. This was concealed and protected by a large enclosed chain guard.
The 1914 Flanders Model D was quite innovative but only lasted a single year. How many of the $210 machines were made or sold is up for conjecture. Walter Flanders was well aware of when it was time to jump ship, and perhaps his mind was merely onto another venture.
This motorcycle was originally sold to Jerome Arnold of Oxford, Michigan in 1914, and he retained ownership of this bike until 1978. It was then purchased and restored by AMCA collector Ira Bullock from Yale, Michigan. At Ira's passing, the Flanders was purchased by Otis Chandler for his fabulous museum in California and the Flanders finally left the state of Michigan. This motorcycle is currently owned by a great-grandson of Walter E. Flanders and is now being offered for sale to a new collector. Replete with a dossier of historical documentation, this motorcycle is offered on a Bill of Sale.
- The frame number listed in the catalog is incorrect. The correct frame number is 7088.