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Lot 6
1913 Excelsior Autocycle 4C Motorbike


Selling on Wednesday


• A highly original example out of long-term ownership
• One of Excelsior’s most successful models
• Correct and original paint and graphics
• Ready to display as-is or refresh for vintage rallies


491cc single-cylinder engine, 5 HP, single-speed transmission, clutch-activated braking, leaf spring front suspension, rigid rear, chain drive; wheelbase: 49”

Excelsior Motorcycles started out as bicycle manufacturer Excelsior Supply in 1874, based in Coventry, England. In 1896, the company decided to install a Minerva engine on one of its bicycles, resulting in the first motorcycle manufactured by Excelsior. In 1907, the Excelsior Motor and Manufacturing Company was formed and, by 1908, the first Autocycle was produced in Chicago and business boomed. Unfortunately, by 1909, George T. Robie passed away, and his young son Frederick was forced to liquidate to Ignaz Schwinn of Schwinn bicycle fame in 1911. Schwinn continued Excelsior production of the model 4TS, 4C and 4B, all of which had a single-cylinder F-head engine and could achieve an impressive 40 mph. Excelsior exclusively used the name 'Autocycle' until production ceased in 1924. Leveraging the might of Schwinn, Excelsior benefited from established distribution and sales channels and grew rapidly, and the Excelsior quickly earned a reputation for being fast and highly reliable. By the time this Autocycle 4C was built, Excelsior had become the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in the United States behind only Indian and Harley-Davidson.

This motorbike has been in our consignor’s collection for nearly 25 years, acquired from a friend who was also a long-term owner of this 4C. This Autocycle is highly original and completely unrestored. The consignor reports the Excelsior has always been carefully stored without gas, and it has regularly turned over easily and will start readily when fuel is added and after a mechanical refresh. It features the desirable chain drive system, the original leather spring-saddle, and a rear luggage rack. The olive-drab paint, the only option in 1913, and the unique graphics are also completely original.

Historical motorcycles have been in high demand for quite a few years, and original examples of significant models such as this are very difficult to find. This fine original Autocycle is certain to make a wise investment for its fortunate winning bidder, and will no doubt be a highlight of any collection of vintage motorcycles.

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