At the 26th annual Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, the world’s largest antique and vintage motorcycle auction saw deals worth 13.7 million USD take place.
Amongst the many successful sales throughout the four-day event, a 1912 Henderson Four was hammered at 490,000 USD, achieving itself the title of top seller. The vintage motorcycle in news is believed to be the only original and unrestored 1912 Henderson known in America still carrying the original paint and tyres.
Henderson manufactured four cylinder motorcycles from 1912 until 1931. The motorcycles were the fastest and biggest of their time. In 1911 William G. Henderson in partnership with his brother Tom W. Henderson founded the American Henderson Motorcycle Co.
The first prototype motorcycle constructed in 1911 had the belt drive which was later replaced with chain drive for production models. The motorcycles had a long wheelbase and were powered by a 934 cc IOE four-cylinder which produced 7 horsepower. The bike also featured a folding hand-crank starter handle.
Hendersons sold the company to Ignaz Schwinn, owner of Schwinn, the manufacturer of Schwinn bicycles and Excelsior motorbikes in 1917. Schwinn marketed the motorcycles extensively overseas as well as in the United States during the ownership, which came to an unusual end in 1931.
The brand did see a revival in 1993 as Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle Company which produced the Super X bike. The company faced financial troubles in late 1999 and production of motorcycles never commenced thereafter.