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Lot 307: Nimbus Four

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

Early four-cylinder motorcycles were by no means the domain of American companies. As early as 1905 the Belgian FN outfit produced an inline-four, as did Nimbus, a Danish firm, starting in 1918. Parent company Fisker & Nielson made electric vacuums, of all things, before adding motorcycles to the product mix. Produced off and on until 1954, the Nimbus was never known for speed, but its steadfast, reliable nature found favor with Denmark's army, police and post office  in fact, the last Nimbus to deliver mail wasn't retired until 1972! This model from the Hobday collection is an example of the third iteration of the design, introduced in 1934. The 750cc motor showed strong motor-industry influence, being constructed along car lines with an integral crankcase/cylinder block in cast iron and a detachable alloy sump. The cast-iron cylinder head was topped by an alloy housing for the single overhead camshaft, the latter being driven by shaft-and-bevel gears. A single-plate clutch transmitted power to the three-speed gearbox. Final drive was by gear-driven shaft. The frame was an unusual strap-steel structure riveted together, a low- volume variation on the expensively tooled, pressed-steel frames then popular elsewhere. The Nimbus was among the first to adopt telescopic front forks, though these used only springs to deal with bumps, hydraulic damping deemed not necessary.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number307
Estimate$8000-$12000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$11000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$12650
Year1937
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number2818
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors