Vintage 1901 Singer Gent’s Motor Bicycle set to make up to £12,500 at auction

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Vintage and veteran cars tend to command massive sums at auction, but if you want a slice of pre-war motoring you could get your hands on this 1901 Singer Gent's Motor Bicycle. It's set to go up for auction at the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale on October 15, with an estimated price of between £8,500 and £12,500.

The listing describes the bike as a 'highly significant restoration project', present as it is in almost complete, but significantly deteriorated state. The listing notes it's missing the seat, carburettor, one pedal, and various control linkages, while the oversize rear chain sprocket suggests it may have been used in competition.


Designed by the Singer Cycle Co. of Coventry, the bike looks very much like a standard bicycle, but features a single-cylinder engine encased within the rear wheel. The company itself boasted at the time that "it is well cooled, and dirt is beaten off by the fan-like action of the revolving side wheel arms".

Though the bicycle has fully functional pedals, they were rarely needed - except on very challenging hills. One of the bike's designers, E. Perks, rode the bike himself in various hill climb events, his party trick being carrying the bike's chain over one shoulder as he rode, to demonstrate the engine's power.

This particular bike was part of the Cobbing collection, and is offered unfortunately without registration documents or visible chassis or engine numbers.

Vintage 1901 Singer Gent's Motor Bicycle

Vintage 1901 Singer Gent's Motor Bicycle