1964 Marusho ST 500 Frame no. F9-0084 Engine no. 2-0144
Lot 210
1964 Marusho ST 500
Frame no. F9-0084 Engine no. 2-0144
Sold for €6,325 (US$ 8,516) inc. premium
Lot Details
1964 Marusho ST 500
Frame no. F9-0084
Engine no. 2-0144
The Marusho Motorcycle Industrial Co Ltd was founded in 1951 in Hamamatsu, Japan by Masashi Ito, and sold its products under the 'Lilac' name. The first Lilac was a shaft-driven 150cc lightweight. A succession of larger models was introduced including a 350cc horizontally opposed twin. Increasingly stiff competition from Honda forced a wholesale revision of the Lilac range in the late 1950s, the new line-up including a brace of transverse v-twins. Despite an agreement to import Lilacs into the USA, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy and the factory closed in 1961.

Marusho re-emerged as a motorcycle manufacturer in 1964, reorganised as the Lilac Co Ltd the previous year. Clearly influenced by the contemporary BMW, their first new product was a 500cc horizontally opposed twin, marketed as 'Marusho ST' in the USA and 'Lilac' in Japan and Australia. Despite a worthy product, Lilac's production decreased year by year and the factory finally ceased motorcycle production at some time around 1967.

One of an estimated 150 survivors out of around 500 made, this ultra-rare Japanese classic was sold new in California and enjoyed three owners there before being sold to the fourth owner in West Virginia, who exported it to the UK. The machine passed to the next owner in Germany in the early 1990s. Benefiting from a restored engine while retaining mostly original paintwork, this Marusho featured in a German motorcycle magazine (Oldtimer-Markt, June 1998 edition) and has not been run since its acquisition by the Hockenheim Museum in 2001. The machine is offered with California Certificate of Title (1967) and German import documents.

Footnotes

  • Marusho ST 500 1964
    Cadre n° F9-0084
    Moteur n° 2-0144

    La firme Marusho Motorcycle Industrial Co Ltd, fondée en 1951 à Hamamatsu (japon) par Masashi Ito commercialisa ses productions sous la marque Lilac. La première Lilac était une moto légère de 150 cm3 à transmission par arbre. Une série de types plus étoffés furent introduits dont une twin 350 à cylindres opposés horizontaux. À la fin des années 1950, la concurrence de plus en plus sévère de Honda imposa une révision de la gamme Lilac, la nouvelle production comprenant une famille de V-twins à moteur monté transversalement. Malgré un accord visant à importer les Lilac aux Etats-Unis, la société fut dans l'obligation de déposer le bilan et l'usine ferma ses ports en 1961.

    Marusho refit surface comme constructeur de motos en 1964, réorganisée sous la raison sociale de Lilac Co Ltd l'année précédente. Clairement influencée par la BMW contemporaine, la première machine nouvelle fut une twin à cylindres opposés de 500 cm3 commercialisée au début sous le nom de Marusho ST aux Etats-Unis et de Lilac au Japon et en Australie. Malgré une fabrication de qualité, la production de Lilac déclina année après année et l'usine abandonna la production motocycliste vers 1967.

    Une des 150 (estimé) motos survivantes sur une production de 500, cette classique japonaise plus que rare vendue neuve en Californie connut trois propriétaires avant de passer aux mains du quatrième résidant en West Virginia qui l'exporta au Royaume-Uni. La machine rejoignit son cinquième propriétaire en Allemagne au début des années 1990. Bénéficiant d'un moteur restauré et conservant la plus grande partie de sa peinture d'origine, cette Marusho qui a fait l'objet d'un article dans un magazine de moto allemand (Oldtimer-Markt de juin 1998) n'a pas été conduite depuis son acquisition par le musée d'Hockenheim en 2001. La machine est proposée avec son titre de circulation californien (1967) et ses documents d'importation en Allemagne.
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