A Sears vendeu através de seus catálogos, motocicletas que hoje são raríssimas, no período de 1906 e 1914. Não eram fabricadas por ela, como aliás nada do que ela vendia mas sim pela Thor. Em 1914 a Sears deixa de vender motos para só voltar ao negócio em 1951 com as motos da Allstate. Não vou fingir que conhecia essas duas marcas.
Em 1913 a Sears oferecia a Leader (branca, abaixo), a De Luxe, a Magneto (uma Leader com sistema de ignição) e a Twin, de dois cilindros e em duas configurações de motor (acima).
Mas estas máquinas das duas primeiras décadas me despertam cada vez mais interesse, e topar com esta brochura de 1913 foi o ponto de partida para uma pesquisa rápida e fértil. Segue alguma coisa que encontrei.
Abaixo, uma “Sears” Twin encontrada alguns anos atrás, com a pintura original. Vale uma fortuna, os preços começam em US$60.000 pelo que pude ver na internet. Esta abaixo custa 45 mil Euros e a Hemmings fala de uma vendida por mais de US$120.000, conforme se lê mais adiante. Via: http://goo.gl/FJdpb
Uma Sears Twin 1913 em algum museu:
A Hemmings escreveu um pequeno artigo sobre as motocicletas Sears em 2010, quando uma delas foi exibida em Peeble Beach. Algo que seja digno de nota em Peeble Beach, imagine do que se trata.
One of the most interesting motorcycles at the recent Pebble Beach Concours was a bike you could literally send away for in the mail and have delivered to your door. Sears offered motorcycles in their retail catalog from 1912 to 1916, available with either a single- or a two-cylinder engine produced by the F. W. Spacke Company of Indianapolis, Indiana; Spacke also assembled the bikes for Sears. These same engines were used in other motorcycles of the period: Dayton, Deluxe, Minneapolis, Eagle and Crawford.
The Spacke V-twin engines were also used in cycle cars of the Teens and Twenties: Davis, Ideal, Scripps-Booth, Buckles, Brook, Peters and Spacke’s own cycle car used the 70-cubic-inch aircooled engine. The 1913 models advertised a whopping 9hp. The engine oil pump was gravity drip-fed and mounted above the engine in the tank; a force-feed plunger was incorporated that had to be pumped occasionally before starting or while driving. A Bosch magneto mounted in front of the engine supplied the engine ignition. Fuel was fed into the cylinders by a Schebler carburetor. The 70.62-cubic-inch engine had a bore of 3.5 inches and a stroke of 3.67 inches.
The Sears bikes were driven by a single-speed Eclipse chain-drive transmission that was engaged by the long lever mounted to the side of the fuel tank, and had chains on both sides of the rear wheel, one driven off the clutch and the other driven by pedal power, used to start the engine. A clutch pedal was added in 1914 models to the right side below the engine case to control a two-speed rear hub. Components were mounted to a loop-type bicycle frame with long pullback handlebars to compensate for the far rear seat position and make room for the fuel/oil tank.
As you can see from the photo, this bike had some extras over and above the standard models, namely, an acetylene headlamp and taillamp with acetylene fuel tank mounted in front of the handlebars. However, it lacks the optional speedometer that would have been gear driven off the wheel hub. Front suspension was a trailing link leaf spring mounted above the fender. Rear suspension was dependent on how much you weighed and whether the bicycle seat springs would allow you to bounce or would just bottom out when you sat down.
Original catalog pricing was $250, roughly $5,500 in today’s money. Values for a restored bike today are unknown; however, a 1914 Sears without the lighting but with the speedometer sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Chicago in September 2001 for over $127,000, including buyer’s premium. Although this bike did not win a major award at Pebble Beach, its rarity and condition make it one of the most interesting bikes we have seen. Just imagine that in 1913 you could have it delivered to your door, if someone didn’t tear that page out of the catalog before you saw it and use it for something more “utilitarian.”
Um presente do Google Books, duas páginas do Standard Catalog of American Motorcycles 1898-1981, via http://goo.gl/8T6cZ
Um video de uma Sears, também 1913. É a moto perfeita para um assalto à banco, rápida na largada:
Uma informação de um Fórum sobre as Sears, que me pareceu relevante. Via http://forums.aaca.org/f205/sears-motorcycle-260696.html
As for the motorcycles they sold in the teens and preteens era, these were “badge engineered” versions of other manufacturers bikes, often times “leftovers” or year old machines built but unsold by motorcycle manufacturers. I believe most Sears bikes had Spaacke motors which were quite large displacement motors (for the time) – i.e. 1200cc – 1.2 liter – 75 cu. in. twins and purportedly VERY, VERY fast for the era – 80 mph machines in an era of single wheel drum or coaster brakes. These were virtually the same motors as used on the circa1913-14 Spaacke cycle cars of which a very few survive. I believe the Excelsior Supply Co of Chicago IL, (not to be confused with the much more well known Excelsior Autocycle Co., also of Chicago, which was purchased by Arnold Schwinn in circa 1909-1910 and lasted until the early years of the (1st – 1929-1941) depression (not to be confused with the 2nd – current depression) nor the english Excelsior firm) was either the main, only or one of the manufacturers that built the Sears badged bikes.
While I do not have a Sears bike (I unfortunately passed on a nice restored circa 1913 Sears twin about 24 years ago – though I did buy a few other bikes from the same collection of a wonderful old bike guy who recently left us – a circa ’02 Thomas Auto Bi, an original paint ’11 Pierce single, original paint ’12 Reading Standard single, original paint ’13 Thor single ’11 Minneapolis single, ’15 (Schwinn) Excelsior twin 3 speed electric with a Rogers sidecar, ’14 Deluxe twin 2 speed – manufactured by the aforementioned Excelsior Cycle Supply Co., ’11 Arrow single which is a “badge engineered” Marsh Metz and a 1911 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne single (the only American built Montgomery Ward motorcycle known to exist- Hawthorne was their “house brand” name like Craftsman is for Sears and Kirkland is for Costco) which was actually a leftover 1910 Armac. The latter two bikes were, like the Sears, examples of machines sold by catalog houses or jobbers but manufactured by other companies. This practice was very common 100 years ago in many industries including Automobiles and still goes on today in many industries, including business machinery.
In fact, I believe some motorcycle manufacturers of 95-105 years ago would, if you agreed to buy as few as 10 of their motorcycles for an investment in the range of $1500 – $2000, paint and stripe the bikes the colors of your choice and put your name on the tank and on the headstock badge. Ah for a return of the “good ‘ol days”. Imagine having your own marque of cars or bikes in your own color scheme with your name on the emblems for a few hundred thou now. I could see a mini fleet of all black (deadbeat) Trump supersize SUVs, “green” Clooney, Gates, Alba or Begley Jr. hybrids or electrics and V-12 Leno supercars.
And to answer your question as best I can, I’ve seen 2-3 other Sears bikes over the years (including one at Hershey I believe a number of years ago) and would imagine 10 or 15 mostly to somewhat complete bikes have survived with a few more perhaps “built up” from surviving Spaacke motors and whatever else one can come up with nowadays. BTW, Dayton motorcycles in addition to the Sears and Deluxe brands also featured Spaacke motors. OK (more than) enuff said on the subject
E agora o catálogo da Sears de 1913. É tudo muito interessante aqui, mas a parte mais inesperada são os acessórios, no final.