1923 Nimbus 746cc
Lot 62
1923 Nimbus 746cc Four Frame no. 183 Engine no. N1217
Sold for £19,550 (US$ 32,860) inc. premium
Lot Details
1923 Nimbus 746cc Four
Frame no. 183
Engine no. N1217
The result of diversification by the Danish vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Fisker & Nnielsen, the Nimbus motorcycle first appeared in 1919. Unusually, only inline four-cylinder models were built. These were of advanced design, using shaft final drive and pressed steel frames right from the start of production, and pioneered the use of the telescopic front fork in the mid-1930s. The early models featured a distinctive tubular spine frame that doubled as the fuel tank, soon gaining the nickname 'stovepipe'. Motorcycle production was suspended in 1928 to enable the company to concentrate on producing its Nilfisk vacuum cleaners, and when the new Nimbus appeared in 1934 it was with a power unit that showed strong motor-industry influence, being constructed along car lines with integral crankcase/cylinder block in cast iron and a detachable alloy sump. The cast-iron cylinder head was topped by an alloy housing for the single overhead camshaft, which was driven by shaft-and-bevel gears. A single-plate clutch transmitted power to the three-speed gearbox. Foot change for the gearbox, a beefier front fork and larger brakes had been added by the end of the 1930s, but from then on the Nimbus changed little until series production was ended in 1954, once again to free up resources for the vacuum cleaner business. An additional few machines were assembled from spares between 1954 and 1959 but none have been made since then. Production was always on a limited scale but such is the quality of the Nimbus that many remain in service today.

This restored Nimbus was purchased at an autojumble in Mannheim, Germany in 2005. The machine is equipped with 'single turn' bulb horn and Brooks leather saddle.

Saleroom notices

  • c.1928 Nimbus 746cc Four Re-creation Frame no. 183 Engine no. N1217 We are advised that this Lot is a modern re-creation by Bjarne Skov Andersen and not a genuine example as suggested in the catalogue. The machine departs from Nimbus design in many respects, although the engine, gearbox and final drive are original components dating from circa 1928. The unusual front fork is a copy of the one seen on the early prototype Nimbus but not put into production.