1907 Vindec Special 5hp & Graham Brothers Sidecar Frame no. 188510 Engine no. 188510

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Lot 181
1907 Vindec Special 5hp & Graham Brothers Sidecar
Registration no. ASJ 655 Frame no. 188510 Engine no. 188510

Sold for £ 32,200 (US$ 40,153) inc. premium
1907 Vindec Special 5hp & Graham Brothers Sidecar
Registration no. ASJ 655
Frame no. 188510
Engine no. 188510
• Ultra-rare survivor of a little-known German make
• Rediscovered in the 1960s and subsequently restored
• Present ownership since 1997
• Pioneer Run, Banbury Run, and Cartier 'Style et Luxe' participant

Not to be confused with the British-made Vindec, the Vindec Special was built in Cologne by the Köln-Lindenthaler Metallwerke AG, which also marketed its products - both cars and motorcycles - as 'Allright' (Allreit). Vindec Special was distributed in the UK by the South British Trading Company under the guidance of William 'Billy' Wells, who was later to handle the import and sales of Indian motorcycles with great success in Britain, Europe and the Colonies. The Vindec Special was first exhibited at the 1903 Stanley Show in London. That machine was powered by a 2¾hp Fafnir engine, but by 1907 the 5hp Peugeot v-twin engine had been adopted. The French-made Truffault leading-link front fork was a notable feature, as was the newly introduced Bosch high-tension magneto.

Thanks to Billy Wells' competition successes, and favourable press reports by journalists such as Ixion, who described the machine in glowing terms, the Vindec Special earned itself an enviable reputation. It was in the 1907 Tourist Trophy race on the Isle of Man that the Vindec Special first caught the public's attention, when Billy Wells rode his Peugeot-engined, 5hp v-twin to a distinguished 2nd place in the Twin-Cylinder class behind Rem Fowler's similarly-powered Norton. Another Vindec Special, ridden by J A Dent, finished 4th.

This Vindec Special motorcycle combination is believed to be the earliest example of the marque in the UK. It was purchased from King & Harpers in Cambridge in 1965 in an incomplete and dismantled state. Missing parts included the con-rods, which delayed the restoration's completion until such time as suitable replacements could be found, with modified Indian components eventually providing the answer. The Vindec two-speed gear was rebuilt, and new handlebars manufactured; a trace of green paint, found on the frame, provided a colour match, while the tank badge was painted by a local artist. When discovered, the machine was without the sidecar, which was finally located and reunited with it; it is understood that the 'chair' had been attached circa 1908 or 1909.

The wickerwork sidecar was designed by Graham Brothers of Enfield, Middlesex, a patent being granted in January 1903. Their sidecars were built for the Grahams by the Cycle Components Manufacturing Company Limited, makers of Ariel motorcycles. Cycle Components soon acquired the production rights, and later in 1903 began producing their own more modern-looking designs. Viewing this machine, it is obvious where the expression 'chair' came from when referring to a sidecar. The Vindec Special combination was featured in the January 1989 edition of The Classic Motor Cycle while still in the hands of the original finder, Colin Christy.

The current vendor purchased the combination in 1997 from Colin Christy, who had carried out much work including the cosmetic restoration. There followed many hours of additional effort to restore the engine's full engine performance. Since the restoration, the Vindec Special has been ridden many times on the Pioneer Run to Brighton, and as team leader on the coveted Dutch Horse Power Trophy, which it has won on three occasions. The machine has also participated in the Banbury Run on many occasions, winning that event and a Gold Medal in 2010. It has also competed on the Continent in both Belgium and Holland, and has twice been honoured with an invitation to appear at the Cartier 'Style et Luxe' competition at Goodwood, in 2003 and again in 2015.

In the 2007, the present owner rode this machine in its solo form in the re-enactment of the first Isle of Man TT race, emulating Billy Wells' feat of 1907 100 years to the day. He tells us that the Vindec has been a great joy to own and run, and will sadly be greatly missed by both himself and his wife.

Saleroom notices

  • We are unable to locate the frame and engine numbers.
1907 Vindec Special 5hp & Graham Brothers Sidecar Frame no. 188510 Engine no. 188510
1907 Vindec Special 5hp & Graham Brothers Sidecar Frame no. 188510 Engine no. 188510
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