c.1927  Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four Frame no. H545 Engine no. H545

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Lot 321
c.1927 Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four
Registration no. BS 9195 Frame no. H545 Engine no. H545

Sold for £ 36,800 (US$ 50,790) inc. premium
c.1927 Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four
Registration no. BS 9195
Frame no. H545
Engine no. H545
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 footboards 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, designed by Detroit motor engineer, L E Fowler, which was a close copy of the defunct Pierce. A relative failure that sold in limited numbers, Cleveland's first four was soon followed by 45ci (750cc) and 61ci (1,000cc) inlet-over-exhaust 'F-head' designs drawn up by E H DeLong, who previously had worked for both Henderson and Ace on their four-cylinder models. Introduced in 1926, the new '4-45' was an advanced design featuring monobloc castings for the cylinders and cylinder head. The three-speed gearbox was integral with the crankcase but unusually the gear cluster was removable without disturbing the engine – a considerable chore for the owners of an Ace or Indian four. However, the latter had much larger engines and were faster, prompting Cleveland to introduce a 'sports' version of the '4-45' pending the arrival of the '4-61' in 1927. Cleveland was hit hard by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and despite producing the most advanced four-cylinder motorcycle of the day, ceased manufacture later that same year.

Bought as a 'basket case' from a California dealer, this rare Cleveland '4-45' four was first registered in the UK in August 2004. The vendor is its only recorded owner in this country. We are advised that Harley-Davidson and Indian parts were used in its restoration and that the gearbox has been repaired. It is understood that the Cleveland was last running around ten years ago but its present mechanical condition is not known. Sold strictly as viewed, the machine is offered with V5C document and a photocopied parts list.
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c.1927  Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four Frame no. H545 Engine no. H545
c.1927  Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four Frame no. H545 Engine no. H545
c.1927  Cleveland 746cc '4-45' Four Frame no. H545 Engine no. H545
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