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Auction: The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction
was auctioned on: 24 January 2019
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1910 American-Yale Engine no. 5891

Estimate: US$30,000 - US$50,000
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 85, Views: 90

• Single family ownership for over 100 years • An unrestored example Still visible on the side of the tank, notwithstanding the green paint, is clearly a large rendering of the word 'American'. Beneath it, smaller, are the words American Motor Cycle Co. On the steering head is a screwed-on plate that repeats those same words and adds 'Chicago' together with a German-style eagle on a shield, surrounded by a wreath, and a cap-A in the middle. Clearly in 1910 there was intent from A. J. Musselman's American Motor Cycle Co. to be 'the' American motorcycle. Ironically within two or so years the brand name was gone as he had taken over the Armac Motor Company plant on Carroll Avenue, Chicago, forming the company into the Allied Motors Corporation, AMC. 'Bicycle and motorcycle hub and brake manufacturer, A.J. Musselman, founded the American Motorcycle Company in 1910. Operating from its company headquarters, not a manufacturing plant, in Chicago, the company purchased motorcycles and bicycles wholesale from established manufacturers; the made cosmetic changes and then sold them with an American tank decal. At that time, Yale, Armac, and Thiem were supplying machines to Musselman. He sold his motorcycles and bicycles through advertisements in a wide variety of national publications which were read by millions. Interested readers were invited to write to the American Motorcycle Company for the location of their nearest dealer.' Stephen Wright, The American Motorcycle 1869-1914. Remember that 'American' or 'America' was a popular brand name in the early part of the 20th century. There were at least two companies; in Connecticut the Pope family shared American alongside Columbia, Crescent, Imperial and three more brand names, and company another in Louisville, Kentucky. 'America" haled from La Porte, Indiana. Motorcycle building and marketing was nationwide with Yale coming from California, with both Armac and Thiem located in St. Paul, Minnesota. This remarkable example has been in the same family owner ship since before 1915. A 1915 Illinois registration document confirm this amazing unbroken ownership chain. Surviving today in lovely un molested condition that truly is untouched. The extremely rare original American owners handbook accompanies this bike. Highly complete, this is a superbly preserved pre-world war one machine. A charismatic brand and superb history and originality this American is an opportunity not likely to be repeated.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Bonhams London
Title: The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction
Date of the auction: 24 Jan 2019
Address: Bonhams London
Las Vegas, Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino 3700 W Flamingo Rd Las Vegas NV 89103 Tel: +1 415 391 4000 Fax : +1 415 391 4040