1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28

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Lot 159
1913 Thor 500cc Single
Engine no. 13M28

Sold for US$ 51,750 inc. premium
1913 Thor 500cc Single
Engine no. 13M28
• Same family ownership for nearly 40 years
• Believed original example
• Great patina
• Stored since 2005

Such was the immediate success of Messrs. Hedstrom and Hendee's Indian motorcycle, that the firm was overwhelmed with orders and had to turn for assistance to the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company, of Aurora, Illinois, which from October 1902 was contracted to build the Hedstrom-designed engines under license. It was natural for Hendee to ask Aurora, since they were already producing castings for their motorcycle.

This deal permitted Aurora to build its own motorcycles and sell surplus Indian engines under its 'Thor' brand name, and the availability of these high-quality proprietary motors enabled a number of independent firms to commence motorcycle manufacture, among them Reading-Standard, Manson and Warwick. Aurora simply had to pay royalties to Indian if they sold surplus and had to make sure they were not providing engines to Indian competitors. By 1902, we estimate that Aurora produced about 150 motors for Indian.

In 1903, Thor had a catalog of parts allowing anyone with a bicycle to turn it into a motorcycle, and thus began the Thor Moto Cycle and Bicycle Company.

The Thor motorcycle remained essentially identical to the Indian until the agreement's expiry in 1907, after which the two makes diverged. Thor's single-cylinder engines were mounted vertically in 1909, and in 1910 the company introduced a new 'F-head' engine of its own design. This was doubled up in 1911 to make the Model O v-twin featuring mechanically operated inlet valves, although the single retained the 'atmospheric' type for another year or so. From the start of production, Thor had mounted its v-twin engine with the rear cylinder vertical, but from 1912 onwards adopted the more conventional placement. That same year the twin was extensively redesigned, becoming the Model U, and in 1914 its capacity was increased from 61ci to 76.25ci. In 1920, the Board of Directors decided to stop the motorcycle production and focus on power tools and home appliances like irons, dishwasher and washing machines.

The Thor presented here was bought in the late 1980s and is in fully original and unrestored condition. Everything from the paint to the components is original. The bike has been stored since 2005 and was apparently displayed only two times on some Christmas Runs in Irwindale.

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.

Saleroom notices

  • The title will be in transit.
Contacts
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
1913 Thor 500cc Single Engine no. 13M28
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

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

PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTORCYCLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.

For MEMORABILIA property (Lots 1-22) the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

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