1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971

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Lot 391N
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E
Registration no. not UK registered Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971

Sold for £ 13,800 (US$ 18,011) inc. premium
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E
Registration no. not UK registered
Frame no. D53-14876
Engine no. ED53-13971
• Ultra-rare early Honda
• Highly original
• Completely restored in 2018

What would become one of the world's largest motor-manufacturing corporations arose from the ashes of Japan's defeat in WW2. Soichiro Honda's company had made piston rings before and during the war but in its aftermath, he changed direction and set up shop as a motorcycle manufacturer, fitting war-surplus engines into bicycles. When the supply of engines ran out, Honda designed and built his own. These early Hondas were two-strokes but in response to customer demand a four-stroke motorcycle was introduced in 1951: the 145.5cc overhead-valve Dream Model E, which was clearly inspired by pre-war European designs. A true motorcycle rather than a motorised bicycle, the Model E sold well despite being relatively expensive and before long Honda was building 130 machines per day.

In 1952, Honda introduced the Model 2E, a machine very similar to its predecessor but powered by an engine of 160cc. The following year, Honda announced the 3E, which went back to a 145.5cc engine but had a three-speed gearbox, becoming the first Honda to do so (previous models were two-speeders). The 3E's engine produced 5.5bhp and was carried in a pressed-steel frame with telescopic front fork and plunger rear suspension. Weight was 97kg (213lb) and top speed 75km/h (47mph). The 3E was superseded by the 220cc Model 4E in 1954.

Purchased in Japan a couple of years ago, this matching-numbers machine represents the 3E in its earliest form, with hubs like the preceding 2E model. We are advised by the vendor that he is the second owner since 1953. A highly original example, this 3E had been stored from new in a dry room and was free of rust. In original condition when acquired in 2018, even down to the original chain and sprockets, the machine has since been completely restored. The machine now has re-chromed brightwork, rebuilt engine and carburettor, new wiring loom, new rear lens, refreshed headlight, new rubber components, new wheel rims (OEM available) and new tyres. Every single part looks like it did in 1953, including the enamel paintwork (similar to Honda's original).

We are advised that the engine starts first kick, idles smoothly, has good compression, and does not smoke. The clutch and gear change work well, as do the brakes, and the electrics charge with everything working fine (the original rectifier is still in place though its job is now done by a modern electronic unit). Only 10 kilometres have been covered since the engine rebuild, leaving the running-in process to be completed. The new owner will also have to source or make a rear brake return spring.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
1953 Honda 145.5cc Dream 3E Frame no. D53-14876 Engine no. ED53-13971
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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia Clearance
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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.