The Von Dutch,1919 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle Engine no. 286

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Lot 857
The Von Dutch,1919 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle
Engine no. 286

Sold for US$ 93,600 inc. premium
The Von Dutch
1919 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle
Engine no. 286
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 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.

This rare Cleveland motorcycle was built by Von Dutch in the early 1970s for the Brucker family’s famous ‘Movie World Cars of the Stars’ museum in Buena Park, California. The bike was sold in 1984 and has remained in a private collection for the past 20 years. Featured in the soon-to-be-released book on the life and work of Kenneth ‘Von Dutch’ Howard, it has also featured in other Von Dutch art displays including the October 2002 California State University Northridge Art Galleries exhibit.

The Cleveland is painted in a ‘Burnt Orange’ color scheme with orange-red pinstripe hand-applied to the wheels, front forks and fuel tank. Von Dutch’s trademark signature can be viewed ‘as it is signed’ on the tail section of the rear fender. Von Dutch memorabilia and collectibles are rapidly appreciating in value, and this machine is no exception, being an ideal acquisition for any home, office or museum. The machine is offered with its most recent bill of sale together with two previous bills of sale dating back to 1984.

Offered without reserve
The Von Dutch,1919 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle Engine no. 286
The Von Dutch,1919 Cleveland 13.5ci Lightweight Motorcycle Engine no. 286
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