1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705
Lot 223
1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four
Registration no. LF 2320 Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705
Sold for £113,500 (US$ 149,665) inc. premium

Lot Details
1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705 1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four Frame no. B-2005 (casting number) Engine no. 2705
1914 Henderson 1,068cc Model C Four
Registration no. LF 2320
Frame no. B-2005 (casting number)
Engine no. 2705
• Iconic American four-cylinder motorcycle
• Delivered new in the UK
• Known ownership history
• Formerly display in the Myreton Motor Museum, East Lothian
• Pioneer Run eligible

One of the most charismatic names in American motorcycling history, Henderson produced nothing but four-cylinder motorcycles in the course of its 19-year existence. Founded by Tom and William Henderson in Detroit in 1912, the firm passed into the control of Chicago-based cycle maker Ignaz Schwinn, owner of Excelsior, in 1917. The Hendersons soon moved on to found the Ace motorcycle company - later taken over by Indian - and thereby had a hand in the design of all the major American-built fours.

Although early models featured an unusually lengthy frame extending well forward of the engine, the Henderson, like the contemporary Indian and Harley-Davidson, was an advanced design for its day. Displacing 965cc initially, the air-cooled cylinders were arranged longitudinally in the frame and employed mechanically operated 'F-head' (inlet-over-exhaust) valve gear. There was single-gear transmission but the Henderson outclassed its rivals for convenience by having a clutch and a hand-crank starter instead of pedals. A shorter frame, folding kick-starter, and three-speed sliding-gear transmission were all Henderson features by 1917. Introduced for 1920, the Model K benefited from a redesigned 1,301cc sidevalve engine equipped with forced lubrication, a new twin-downtube frame, strengthened front fork and enclosed rear chain. Modifications to the De Luxe (introduced for 1922) mainly concentrated on improvements to the gearbox. Top speed was a guaranteed 80mph, and with the optional alloy pistons installed a De Luxe could touch 100mph, an astonishing performance for the time and one matched by few contemporary cars.

This particular Henderson found its way to Scotland, (the Henderson family homeland) and was bought new by Frederick Burnett of 11 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, no doubt influenced by the excellent spares service offered by the Henderson organisation. When Frederick Burnett was called up for military service in World War One, he took the Henderson with him to Norfolk while on active service there. Remarkably, a photograph survives of Burnett in his military uniform astride the Henderson (see history file).

Scottish collector, Michael Mutch, discovered the Henderson, still in the hands of its original owner, in an Edinburgh cellar in 1960 and acquired it for display in the Myreton Motor Museum in East Lothian, Scotland. In 1961 he proudly rode it on the Vintage Run organised by The Perth & District Motor Club, achieving a coveted Finisher's Award in what would undoubtedly have been a hilly and challenging event. Subsequently the machine saw little use and was displayed in the museum following a sympathetic restoration, carefully retaining original factory features in all major respects. The machine retains that delightful patina which the most skilled restorer cannot recreate.

The photocopied V5 on file shows that after Michael Mutch, the Henderson was owned by the well-known collector, Peter Harper. It later found its way to the USA. The current vendor purchased the Henderson at Bonhams' 'Legend of the Motorcycle' sale, San Francisco, in May 2007 (Lot 39). Extensively re-commissioned, it successfully participated in the 74th Pioneer Run in 2013 and was last taxed to 31st December that year.

Noteworthy features include Powell & Hanmer acetylene lighting, a Gloriaphone hand-operated klaxon, Cowey Engineering Co Ltd 0-80mph speedometer, and a well-sprung Brooks leather saddle. In additon, the machine comes with a substantial file of history, including an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1925) listing Frederick Burnett as first owner and Michael Mutch as the second; a quantity of correspondence form the 1960s, Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Certificate; a V5C Registration Certificate; some expired MoTs; a quantity of technical and historical Henderson-related literature; and a printout of an article written by Alan Cathcart for The Classic Motor Cycle (September 2017 edition).

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Activities
Auction information

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Collection and Storage Information

Motorcycles
Vehicles must be collected from the sale venue by 7pm on the day of the sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection. Otherwise Lots shall be removed to local store in Stoke-on-Trent at the Buyer's expense (see below). Lots are at the Buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advisable that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of Sale.

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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia

All purchased lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 6pm Sunday 15 October 2017.

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Contacts
  1. Motor Cycles (UK)
    Auction administration - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work 0208 963 2817
    FaxFax: 0208 963 2801
  2. Ben Walker
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2819
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
  3. Bill To
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2822
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2802
  4. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
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