Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692
Lot 274
Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin
Registration no. SV 5376 Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692
Sold for £104,540 (US$ 134,529) inc. premium

Lot Details
Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692 Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas,1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued) Engine no. FOR 2X 11692
Formerly the property of the late Bernard Thomas
1914 Flying Merkel 980cc V-Twin
Registration no. SV 5376
Frame no. 11692 (DVLA issued)
Engine no. FOR 2X 11692
Joseph Merkel founded the Merkel Motor Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1902, its first product being a bicycle powered by a 'clip on' engine attached to the front down tube. In 1908 Merkel merged with the Light Manufacturing and Foundry Company of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, which had been making motorcycles since 1901. Merkel production shifted to Pottstown and the range - marketed as 'Merkel-Light' - expanded to include chain-driven types and large v-twins. The latter were among the most advanced designs of their day, featuring telescopic forks and cantilever rear suspension at a time when most of the opposition offered girder forks and rigid frames. Motive power was provided by a 45-degree v-twin with inlet-over-exhaust valve gear.

The move to Pottstown signalled a serious commitment to racing and the hiring of factory supported riders, while the slogan 'Flying Merkel' began to appear in the company's advertising. And fly they did, winning countless races over the next few seasons before new owners the Miami Cycle and Manufacturing Company of Middletown, Ohio pulled the plug on the factory's racing program in 1911. Limited support continued for employees that wanted to go racing, and the 1915 catalogue contained a list of 1914-season race wins extending to a page-and-a-half. When Miami ceased production of Merkel motorcycles in 1915, Joseph Merkel designed and patented the 'Merkel Motor Wheel'.

This rare Veteran-era American classic was discovered in an Ohio barn in 1956 by one Mort Wood, who sold it on to a fellow 'antique motorcycle' enthusiast, Emmett Moore. It appears that ownership reverted to Mort Wood, for it was from him that the machine was purchased in 1994 by the late Bernard Thomas, proprietor of Antique American Motorcycles. In original condition when acquired, the Flying Merkel has been treated to a mechanical and light cosmetic rebuild but otherwise remains untouched.

Bernard Thomas rode the Flying Merkel in the 1995 Pioneer Run but sadly passed away later that same year. Since then it has been ridden by Bernard's close friend, and current proprietor of Antique American Motorcycles, Kevin Hellowell, completing the Run on five occasions between 1996 and 2000. Kevin also rode the machine for a feature published in The Classic Motor Cycle (February 2000 edition). Many Veterans are handicapped by the crudity of their transmission arrangements, but this Flying Merkel is equipped with one of the era's better solutions: a crankshaft-mounted Eclipse clutch that doubles as a variable-ratio gear. Top speed is in the region of 70mph, which was some going for any kind of road vehicle back in the Edwardian era.

Last ridden in March 2000 (on the Pioneer Run) the machine will require re-commissioning before returning to the road as is sold strictly as viewed. Offered for sale by Susan Thomas, Bernard's wife, this wonderful American Veteran comes with a copy of the aforementioned article, a Pioneer Certificate and an old-style V5 registration document.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this machine is fitted with an 'Eclipse variable clutch' apposed to 'variable speed'
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy,

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT. Some lots may be subject to VAT on the hammer price. These lots will be clearly marked with a dagger (†) printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000, VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Collection Notices

Spares & Memorabilia
All Purchased lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 7pm on the day of the sale. All un-collected purchased lots shall then be removed to Bonhams storage facility at:
Unit 1 Sovereign Park,
Coronation Road,
Park Royal
London, NW10 7QP

Lots will be available for collection from 12pm Wednesday 22 October, by appointment only. To arrange collection please contact the Automobilia Department:
+44 (0) 8700 273 621 (tel)
+44 (0) 8700 273 625 (fax)
motorcyclememorabilia@bonhams.com to make an appointment.

All lots will be charged £10+VAT uplift and storage at £1+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊ will be charged £25+VAT uplift and storage at £5+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊◊ will be charged £50+VAT uplift and storage at £10+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊◊◊ will require specific shipping and storage arrangements, as they are either extremely large or heavy objects, please ask for details.

Shippers or Agents wishing to collect on behalf of the purchaser must provide written instruction from the client before Bonhams will release the lot(s). All purchases are at the buyers risk from the fall of the hammer.

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.

Removal and Storage of Vehicles
All Lots not removed in accordance with the above will be transported by Polygon Transport to local store in Stoke-on-Trent. Please contact Polygon Transport to make arrangements for the collection/delivery of your lot:
Polygon Transport
+44 (0) 2380 871 555
+44 (0) 2380 862 111 fax
polygon@polygon-transport.com
www.polygon-transport.com

Purchases can only be once full settlement (inclusive of all charges) of all invoices issued to the buyer is received in cleared funds. Lots will be available for collection from local store in Stoke-on-Trent from 12pm Tuesday 21 October, by appointment with Polygon Transport.

Vehicle Removal charges to local store
£74 + VAT per motorcycle
£120 + VAT per motorcycle combination
Storage charges
£8.50 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£15.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

Limited transport is available to the South of England, Marchwood (Southampton) by request with Polygon Transport at
£99 + VAT per motorcycle
£145 + VAT per motorcycle combination
Storage charges
£8.50 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£15.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

Transport and Shipping
A representative of Polygon Transport, Bonhams' preferred carriers, will be at the Sale and can arrange national and international transportation as agent for the Buyer or the
Seller (as the case may be)

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. 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
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