On The Square

The Ultimate Ride

By Bidsquare

Oct 30,2015 | 11:00 EDT

It’s not every day you get a chance to snare a genuine piece of motorcycle history. Yet tucked away in Session 2 of Cowan’s European & American Firearms and Early Militaria sale is a piece of machinery sure to capture the heart every two-wheeler fan who crosses its time-honored path.

A Rex motorcycle, used to win the prestigious Lanes End to John OGroats road race back in 1904, is selling as Lot 980. Brothers William and Harold Williamson founded Rex Motorcycles in 1899, and the Coventry-based company was soon active in all types of two-wheel competition.

In 1904 Harold set his sights on the Lands End to John O’Groats road race, run between the most southerly and northerly points of mainland Britain. Traveling over rough, un-surfaced and often treacherous roads, he completed the 880-mile marathon in 48 hours 36 minutes, beating the existing mark by nearly 2.5 hours. 

Harold Williamson decked out in high-tech racing trim, circa 1904. Note the aerodynamic tweed cap.

Session 2 of Cowans European & American Firearms and Early Militaria sale is set down for Saturday, November 4 and is over 740 lots strong. Included is an excellent selection of fresh-to-the-market rifles, pistols, uniforms, shotguns, powderhorns, bowie knives and accouterments.

Look now at the full catalog.