A Town and Country exhaust model,1914 FN 204cc Single Frame no. 43454

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Lot 122
A Town and Country exhaust model,1914 FN 204cc Single
Frame no. 43454

Sold for US$ 12,285 inc. premium
A Town and Country exhaust model
1914 FN 204cc Single
Frame no. 43454
There are few manufacturers of early motorcycles more respected than Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN), of Herstal in Belgium, a long established precision manufacturer of firearms. Prior to the Second World War this Belgian conglomerate produced motorcars as well, and in 1959 one of their formidable motocross machines took Rene Baeten to the 500cc Motor Cycle World Championship! The firm continues as a manufacturer of ordnance to the present day. FN arguably pioneered four-cylinder machines with the introduction of a 362cc model in 1904. Their unit construction singles, which used a similar twin down-tube cradle frame and leading link forks, are equally revered. Another fine feature found on early FNs is the ‘trademark’ fuel tank, constructed from sheet brass. Until the mid-1920’s, FN were noted for their highly efficient shaft-drive transmission, setting them a league ahead of their main competitors. In this particular model the design enables the rear wheel to be removed leaving the shaft and gearing in place – what a blessing!

This FN, an apparently well-preserved and authentic example of these expensive and beautifully engineered machines, was discovered in Belgium circa 1970 by the late Dr Helmut Krackowizer - widely renowned as writer, enthusiast, and historian. Thought to have spent some of its life in Vienna, as evidenced by markings on the tool box, this machine was acquired for a notable Austrian motorcycle collection in 1986. Following that acquisition some restoration work was completed at Workshop Rossi in Vienna before the machine went on museum display. It has not been used since that museum display and the vendor advises that the machine will require work prior to re-commissioning. Particularly attractive features include the nickel-plated front forks, leather tool box imprinted ‘Vien’, period sprung-mounted front lamp, oil cans on rear mudguard, front and rear stands, and a practical luggage carrier on which is mounted a wicker basket. A rare feature is the town and country exhaust, enabling more performance, and a little extra noise, when out of town. The FN marque specialist in the U.K. suggests that this machine dates from 1914. A charming machine of outstanding engineering quality, well worthy of careful recommissioning and restoration to the open road.
A Town and Country exhaust model,1914 FN 204cc Single Frame no. 43454
A Town and Country exhaust model,1914 FN 204cc Single Frame no. 43454
A Town and Country exhaust model,1914 FN 204cc Single Frame no. 43454
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