c.1916 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Engine no. 10873
Lot 306
c.1916 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight
Engine no. 10873
Sold for US$ 17,250 inc. premium
Lot Details
c.1916 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight
Engine no. 10873
The Cleveland Motorcycle Manufacturing Company, of Cleveland, Ohio was in business from 1915 to 1929, commencing modestly enough with a single-cylinder two-stroke lightweight before progressing to a mighty 61ci four. Built between 1915 and 1924, the 13.5ci (221cc) two-stroke was unusual in mounting its engine with the crankshaft inline with the frame, a sensible arrangement for a shaft-driven motorcycle but one that necessitated a worm gear to turn the drive through 90 degrees on the chain-driven Cleveland. Early models lacked a kick-starter, which was adopted for 1917, while subsequent improvements included a combined fuel/oil tank, battery electrics and foot-boards instead of pegs. All models had two-speed transmission and a front fork copied from the British 'baby' Triumph.

The two-stroke's replacement for 1925 was a 21.25ci (348cc) single-cylinder four-stroke 'flat head' that failed miserably in the face of competition from the Indian Prince. Changing tack, Cleveland came back with a 36.6ci (600cc) T-head four - a close copy of the defunct Pierce – which was followed by 45ci (750cc) and 61ci (1,000cc) F-head models as the decade progressed. In its ultimate, Century incarnation, Cleveland's biggest four was a genuine 100mph machine, but its arrival in 1929 ahead of the Wall Street Crash came too late to save Cleveland, which ceased motorcycle manufacture later that same year.

Described as a 'cosmetic restoration', this rare Cleveland motorcycle was purchased at Bonhams' sale of the Richard C Paine Jr. Collection at Owls Head, Maine in September 2008 (Lot 811). Since acquisition the machine has formed part of the Fabergé Museum collection in Germany and will require re-commissioning and safety checks prior to returning to the road following a period of static display. It is offered with (copy) bill of sale recording the change of ownership from Donald A Stewart by Richard C Paine Jr in February 1987 as part of a group purchase of machines.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale
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