1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)

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Lot 161
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica
Engine no. XP3 (See text)

US$ 95,000 - 110,000
£ 71,000 - 82,000
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica
Engine no. XP3 (See text)
The Ace Motor Corporation sped into the motorcycle industry limelight with their sensational speedsters. The experimental machines were first shown to the public in a brief appearance at the Rochester, New York hillclimb on July 4, 1923 where “TNT” Terpenning on EXP4 and Charles “Red” Wolverton on EXP3 dominated the first run up the hill so convincingly that Chief Engineer Arthur Lemon rolled the special bikes back into their crates and out of public sight.

Ace made several versions of the experimental four cylinder engines and had a few sets of special magnesium crankcases cast. Magnesium was chosen for its strength and lightness however the downside was a material never before used in this manner and was pryophoric. Ace machinists used to ignite the magnesium shavings from the crankcases with a match to show off to the other plant workers. Red Wolverton once told a story about the first experimental engine self destructing on the dynamometer, sending its magneto past his ear. Another experimental motor that never saw the light of day had a special four carburetor intake manifold. This machine was destined for a proposed transcontinental record run with an average speed of 100mph! Unfortunately, the company went under before the special one-inch carburetors could be provided from Schebler.

Ace’s premier experimental engine was the EXP 4 motor which received the highest state of tune using magnesium crankcases. When the company set the world speed record with EXP 4 on November 19, 1923, there was another record set for a motorcycle with sidecar using EXP 3. That record was 106.8mph and held for many years.

EXP 3 was a slightly detuned version of its sister EXP 4 engine, and used new aluminum crankcases utilizing pressure feed lubrication. When Dr. John Patt obtained the racing engines from the family of Henry Wing, he was exciting as he was the first person inside the experimental engine since Arthur Lemon constructed it. He found the motor absolutely intact but found pieces of babbit from the bearing shells lodged in an oil passage causing the motor to lock up. New original pistons were obtained and the motor reassembled. Like the EXP 4 motor, EXP 3 has special cylinders and valve gear, plus enlarged lightweight intake manifold and Schebler carburetor. A Scintilla magneto provides the ignition source.

This replica of the Ace speedster that set the world sidecar record in 1923 differs from the solo machine by having a six inch wide gas tank and handlebars of a flat profile which came from a solo record attempt the week before the now famous record date. The special FLXI sidecar weighed a mere 34 pounds and Red Wolverton carried it into the Ace experimental department under his arm. During the timed run, assistant engineer Everett Delong slid inside the sidecar for the record attempt. The jewels of his watch broke from the stress of the ride.

The 1923 Ace EXP 3 with FLXI sidecar, although a re-creation of the original machine, still has the fully intact original engine installed and is completely operational. The motorcycle is a testimony to the vision of Doc Patt to preserve and exhibit this unique part of our motorcycling history.
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
1923 Ace EXP 3 Experimental Replica Engine no. XP3 (See text)
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