105-year-old ‘motorbike’ which hasn’t been ridden in 40 years

It looks like a neglected bike long since consigned to the shed, but this two-wheeled contraption’s value belies its rusty appearance.

The ancient bicycle is in fact a 1906 Indian Camelback, one of the first ever two-wheeled motorised machines and one which is hugely desirable to collectors.

Just 1,698 of the rare cycles were produced 105 years ago, with its ‘unrestored’ state meaning the relic could fetch as much as £50,000 at auction.

Relic: The 105-year-old Indian Camelback 'motorbike' is worth £50,000 thanks to its 'unrestored' appearance

Relic: The 105-year-old Indian Camelback ‘motorbike’ is worth £50,000 thanks to its ‘unrestored’ appearance

Ancient: The single cylinder, 2.25 horse power bike, may not be the most powerful but could still be worth a fortune

Ancient: The single cylinder, 2.25 horse power bike, may not be the most powerful but could still be worth a fortune

And as it packs a puny 2.25 horse, has a single cylinder and top speed of just 30mph, buyers certainly won’t be bidding on the ancient bike for its high-powered spec.

It was owned by the du Pont family, which bought the ‘Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company’ that built it, and this cycle was last ridden in the Seventies.

Whoever buys the machine will probably use minimum efforts to restore it to a working condition, but complete restoration would see its value reduce.

The Indian cycles were the great rivals of Harley-Davidson, but the company eventually went bankrupt in 1953.

It had a rudimentary braking system and a hobnail boot on the ground would have been needed to help it stop.

The motorcycle is going under the hammer at Bonhams in Las Vegas, U.S., on January 12.

Ben Walker from Bonhams said: ‘This motorcycle is in such demand because of its condition and to restore it would actually take value off.

‘The motorcycle will probably be ‘oily-ragged’, which means wiping it down with oil to preserve it as it is.

‘It will probably be rebuilt mechanically but with as little change to its condition.

Experts believe that cleaning the bike or restoring it to a better condition could actually be detrimental to its value

Experts believe that cleaning the bike or restoring it to a better condition could actually be detrimental to its value

‘India were the great rivals of Harley-Davidson and were at the forefront of motorcycles when they evolved from bicycles.

‘It would have been a quick machine with a fair turn of speed and no brakes on early motorcycles were much good – the were the same design as bicycle brakes.

‘This is an extremely rare thing and hs come from the du Pont family that owned the company.

‘It was a pedal assisted bike and it still has its original registration number on the rear mud guard.

‘These motorcycles have never really reduced in value – if I filled a whole sale with them they would all go for good prices.’

As it was: Only 1,698 Camel Backs were made in 1906

As it was: Only 1,698 Camel Backs were made in 1906

Source: Daily Mail

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