Home Motorcycle brand Mecum to auction off the rights to the Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle brand

Mecum to auction off the rights to the Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle brand


Formerly part of the American “Big 3” motorcycle, the old motorcycles produced by Schwinn, now darling of collectors, wait for someone to launch their rebirth.

One of the biggest dreams in the classic car world is the resurrection of an iconic brand, and every now and then the rights to a brand become available. This will be the case on January 27 when the Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle brand and all of its intellectual property becomes available at Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctions from Mecum Auctions in Las Vegas.

In its press release, Mecum calls the sale an unprecedented opportunity to own all the intellectual property of the latest of the American motorcycle brands “The Big 3”, alongside Harley-Davidson and Indian.

Excelsior-Henderson brand up for auction | Provided by Mecum Auctions

“The vintage Excelsior and Henderson motorcycles that still exist today are highly collectable and famous examples that are among the best early motorcycles ever created,” Mecum noted in its press release.

“At last year’s Mecum Las Vegas auction, copies bearing both names landed among the best sellers,” the statement said. “A 1912 Henderson Four took top honors in sales at $ 490,000, followed by a 1913 Henderson Four which grossed $ 150,000. A 1928 Excelsior Big Bertha also fell into the top seller with $ 117,500.

“It is clear that the interest in the brand and the endearing respect for its designs have not wavered over the past century.”

Although founded in 1907, the Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company experienced its greatest success after being bought in 1912 by Ignaz Schwinn, famous in the construction of bicycles. Schwinn added the Henderson Motorcycle Company, founded by the grandsons of American automotive pioneer Alexander Winton, to the portfolio in 1917.

“From 1911 to 1921, the Hendersons were the only 4-cylinder motorcycles produced in the United States, and by the late 1920s, Excelsior-Henderson and Indian dominated the 45 cubic inch market with the Super X and Scout ”, Mecum noted. “Their great models – the Henderson Four, as well as the Indian Chief and Four – were admired around the world and were in many ways the most attractive and technically interesting motorcycles built in the United States.

Excelsior 'Big Berth' 1928 hill climb bike at Mecum auction in January 2017 |  Photo by Larry Edsall

Excelsior ‘Big Berth’ 1928 hill climb bike at Mecum auction in January 2017 | Photo by Larry Edsall

“Nonetheless, Schwinn correctly predicted a significant drop in motorcycle sales for 1930 and decided to unplug its larger motorcycles and focus on those without engines, which were likely to continue to sell when jobs were scarce.

“And he was right; Schwinn bikes flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, but the company never produced motorcycles again.

In the 1990s, Daniel Hanlon obtained the rights to Excelsior-Henderson and in 1998 and 1999 produced nearly 2,000 Super X motorcycles bearing the brand name.

However, Mecum added, the Excelsior-Henderson name “has quietly survived, waiting for the right mix of capital and inspiration to come to life.”

Classic Henderson Motorcycle

Classic Henderson Motorcycle

Mecum said the Las Vegas sale will include “ownership of the Excelsior-Henderson brand, 10 federally registered trademarks, web domains, previous designs of motorcycle frames and engines as well as 18 expired patents that may not be validated. efficiently operated only by the owner of Excelsior-Henderson.

Mecum’s Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, which is expected to include 1,750 bikes, will run January 23-27 at the South Point Hotel and Casino.

This article, written by Larry Edsall, originally appeared on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.


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