Unique 1905 LEO two-cycle to highlight Bonhams at $35,000

Bonhams' forthcoming Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction will feature the unique 1905 LEO two-cycle as one of its main attractions.

1905 Leo Two Cycle Motorcycle Bonhams Las Vegas
Unlike its contemporaries, the LEO rejected the use of a bicycle frame

Taking place on January 10 at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the auction will see the exciting discovery sold with a $25,000-35,000 estimate. It is thought to be the sole surviving example made by the LA Mitchell Motor Company of Oakland, California.

Besides its extreme rarity, the motorcycle is also prized for its historical significance, with this believed to be the earliest surviving example of an American two-cycle motorcycle. Vehicles made in California are rarely seen at auction, making this an even more exciting prospect for collectors.

In contrast to other manufacturers at the time, the LEO was purpose-built using a motorcycle frame rather than that of a bicycle. Showing many miles of usage, the lightweight and compact design is testament to the marque's progressive vision - two-cycle, or two-stroke, engines did not become commonplace in the US until after the first world war.

1902 Rambler B motorcycle
The Rambler arrived a full year before Harley-Davidson's first commercial motorcycle

Also featuring in the auction is the 110-year-old 1902 Rambler Model B, which has been consigned by the Indian Motorcycle Museum. Manufactured by Colonel Albert Pope's American Cycle Manufacturing Company of New York, the remarkable machine is the finest of its kind and is in stunning time-capsule condition, having never been restored and wearing its original paint from 1902. It is expected to sell for $60,000-80,000.

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