Antique Rambler Motorcycle hits Auction

110-year-old Rambler motorcycle added to Bonhams sale

TUESDAY, 06 NOVEMBER 2012 08:48
Rare 1902 Rambler Model B motorcycle in original condition. Bonhams image.Rare 1902 Rambler Model B motorcycle in original condition. Bonhams image.

LAS VEGAS – Bonhams has added a rare and original 1902 Rambler Model B from the Indian Motorcycle Museum to its Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale on Jan. 10.Manufactured by Colonel Albert Pope’s American Cycle Manufacturing Co. of New York, the pioneering Rambler motorcycle is in original, unrestored condition. The motorcycle wears its original paint from 110 years ago. With the exception of a touch-up on the gas tank the entire machine is in a complete “time-capsule” state.

By 1901, Pope had consolidated the Cleveland, Columbia, Crescent, Imperial, Rambler and Tribune brands under the umbrella of American Cycle. While Indian has the distinction of being America’s first production motorcycle, Rambler launched just a few months after Indian’s introductory 1901 Camelback model and was offered for sale the same year – 1902 – a full year before Harley-Davidson’s first commercial motorcycle.

Refined and of advanced design, Rambler was one of the first motorcycles to have a long wheelbase for stability. It was a high-quality machine that did not rely on many off-the-shelf components, and its engine was designed and produced in-house while the frame was also purpose-made and not simply a bicycle frame. These manufacturing standards demonstrated Pope’s faith and anticipation of the emerging motorcycle market and the company’s engineering prowess.

This particular machine has been a part of the Manthos Collection of the Indian Motorcycle Museum exhibit for decades and has benefited from years of unmolested and protected preservation. As one of the world’s first commercial motorcycles, it illustrates the metamorphosis of bicycle into motorcycle. Moreover, it is one of the oldest and most original American production machines anywhere in existence.

Bonhams has represented many of the rarest most important motorcycles ever built, and this Rambler is one of the finest, most original machines the auction house has ever offered.

The 110-year-old Rambler (estimate: $60,000-$80,000) will be offered alongside the recently announced collection of Rennsport BMWs – including the rare 1939 Kompressor – at the third annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strip.

Owners interested in consigning motorcycles to the Bonhams Las Vegas Sale can contact Nick Smith (West Coast): 323-436-5470 / or Evan Ide (East Coast): 917-340-4657 / More information about the Las Vegas auction will be posted in the coming weeks at


Rare 1902 Rambler Model B motorcycle in original condition. Bonhams image.Rare 1902 Rambler Model B motorcycle in original condition. Bonhams image.

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