Lot 164

2019   |   Pebble Beach 2019

1912 Sears Dreadnaught V-Twin

SOLD $56,000


$80,000 - $100,000| Without Reserve



Car Highlights

Sold by Sears Department Stores via Mail Order from 1912–1916
Purchased in 1985 by Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill
Finished in Its Correct and Attractive Red and White Livery
Early Production Example; One of Very Few Dreadnaughts Known to Survive
An Intriguing Early Motorcycle from 34 Years of Hill Family Ownership

Technical Specs

1,157 CC Air-Cooled 2-Cylinder Engine
Single Schebler Model H Carburetor
9 HP
Single-Speed Chain-Drive Gearbox
Coaster Brake
Front Suspension with Leaf Spring
Rear Rigid Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.

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From the Phil Hill Family Collection

The Dreadnaught V-Twin was manufactured by the Excelsior Cycle Company for Sears, Roebuck and Company, the Chicago-based retail giant. Priced at $237, tough, and easy to maintain, the motorcycle was sold via mail order with minor assembly required, as the handlebars and pedal assembly were packed alongside the machine to save space during shipping.

The top-of-the-line Dreadnaught model was powered by a 9 hp, 1,157 cc, two-cylinder V-Twin sourced from the F.W. Spacke Machine Company. One of the largest V-Twin-powered bikes offered to the motorcycling public, notable features included a Schebler carburetor, air-cooled Musselman coaster hub, and Eclipse clutch and chain drive to the rear wheel.

This lovely 1912 Sears Dreadnaught V-Twin was purchased at the Harrah’s Automobile Collection auction in September 1985 by Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill. Phil’s son Derek reports, “The Sears was my father’s main vintage motorcycle that he enjoyed on many motorcycle tours. He even modified the chain-drive gears giving it a more comfortable ride at higher cruising speeds. I had several outings on the Sears myself and it is a joy to ride. It has the classic twin exhaust note and plenty of torque to get you going and up to speed. It’s an ideal touring motorcycle.” Very few Sears Dreadnaughts are believed to survive today, making this example an especially rare find. Offered for the first time in almost 35 years, and coming directly from the Hill family, this rare piece of history deserves your closest consideration