Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A

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Lot 545
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four
Registration no. XY 575 Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A

Sold for £ 48,300 (US$ 64,330) inc. premium
Property of a deceased's estate
1924 Henderson De Luxe Four
Registration no. XY 575
Frame no. 1094
Engine no. D12309A
• Charismatic Vintage-era American four
• Formerly on display in the Montagu Motor Museum
• Requires re-commissioning or restoration

One of the most charismatic names in American motorcycling history, Henderson produced nothing but four-cylinder motorcycles in the course of its nineteen-year existence. Founded by Tom and William Henderson in Detroit in 1912, the firm passed into the control of Chicago-based cycle maker Ignaz Schwinn, owner of Excelsior, in 1917. The Hendersons soon moved on to found the Ace motorcycle company - later taken over by Indian - and thereby had a hand in the design of all the major American-built fours. Although early models featured an unusually lengthy frame extending well forward of the engine, the Henderson, like the contemporary Indian and Harley-Davidson, was an advanced design for its day. Displacing 965cc initially, the air-cooled cylinders were arranged longitudinally in the frame and employed mechanically operated 'F-head' (inlet-over-exhaust) valve gear. There was single-gear transmission, but the Henderson outclassed its rivals for convenience by having a clutch and a hand-crank starter instead of pedals. A shorter frame, folding kickstarter and three-speed sliding-gear transmission were all Henderson features by 1917. Introduced for 1920, the Model K benefited from a redesigned 1,301cc sidevalve engine equipped with forced lubrication, a new twin-downtube frame, strengthened front fork and enclosed rear chain. Modifications to the De Luxe (introduced for 1922) mainly concentrated on improvements to the gearbox. Top speed was a guaranteed 80mph, and with the optional alloy pistons installed a De Luxe could touch 100mph, an astonishing performance for the time, and one matched by few contemporary cars.

This example of one of the most desirable of American motorcycles has not been touched since it was purchased at Bonhams' Stafford sale in October 2004 (Lot 348). It is known that this machine was purchased second-hand in 1925 from Henderson concessionaires Melchior, Armstrong & Dessau (London) Ltd, by a Mr F Firth. At that time it was equipped with a sidecar and as late as 1946 was still licensed as a combination. In 1957 the Henderson was acquired for preservation by the then Montagu Motor Museum.

This very special machine is equipped with electric lighting, electric klaxon, a Corbin 0-100mph speedometer, an oil pressure gauge and a Weston ammeter. It should be noted, the carburettor body displays some damage due to fatigue and there are several repairs to the engine cases. Unused for some considerable time, the Henderson will require restoration to a greater or lesser extent before returning to the road and thus is sold strictly as viewed. Accompanying documentation consists of a current V5C and a quantity of photocopied correspondence relating to Mr Firth's ownership.

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

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Contacts
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
Property of a deceased's estate, 1924 Henderson De Luxe Four  Frame no. 1094 Engine no. D12309A
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Buyers' Premium and Charges

Memorabilia and Spares
For Memorabilia and Spares (Lots 1-123) the Buyer's Premium is 27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price 25% on the excess of £10,001 and up to £450,000 of the hammer price 20% on the excess of £450,001 and up to £4,500,000 of the hammer price 14.5% on the excess of £4,500,001.

Motorcycles
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