Antique 1911 Singer motorcycle with unusual wicker sidecar

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The Singer motorcycle has a wicker sidecar built for comfort, not for speed

Those were indeed gentler times, when you could ride a jewel-like little motorcycle with a cushy open sidecar constructed out of wicker that looked like something off the front porch of a Victorian home.  That, or a rickshaw.

The Pick of the Day is a 1911 Singer Legend motorcycle attached to an interesting sidecar “of a high-quality but unknown manufacture,” according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the bike on ClassicCars.com.

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The motorcycle is finished in black and green with polished nickel-plated hardware

The motorcycle was built by the Singer company, which also produced small cars in Coventry, England.  Originally a bicycle maker, Singer in 1901 manufactured an ingenious “motor wheel” to mount on bicycles, before building more-conventional motorcycles starting in 1904.

“This Singer motorcycle and the sidecar are an older restoration that has been maintained to a very high standard,” the ad says. “The motorcycle frame and accessory mounts are painted in black, while the engine and drivetrain show a nicely patinated alloy.

“The petrol tank is painted correctly in silver with green panels and narrow red coach stripes. Trim is nickel-plated, including a delightful Lucas Kings Own headlamp mounted above the front wheel.”

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The rig still has its original British license plate and tax medallion

The sidecar is in similar very-good condition, the seller notes.

“The immediate impression is of a woven wicker chaise lined with green naugahyde, button tufted on the back, sides and seat cushion,” the ad says. “The ‘basket’ is mounted onto a steel frame connecting the rear wheel of the motorcycle to the third wheel, which also features a black cycle fender and a small polished coach lamp.”

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The motorcycle looks like a heavy-duty bicycle fitted with an engine, leather-belt drive and rudimentary suspension.  There are pedals, crank and separate chain drive for getting the contraption moving before the engine takes over.

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The antique bike and wicker sidecar make for a picturesque ensemble

The dealer is still in the process of determining the displacement and horsepower of the engine, the ad says, since Singer offered both 299 cc and 535 cc single-cylinder engines for the Legend in 1911.

This pretty gem would be something to collect and put on display rather than ride regularly in modern traffic, although one might want to take it out for a spin once in a while, with some brave soul riding in the sidecar.

The asking price for the unusual antique conveyance is $47,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

 

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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