The wonderful: 1918 Harley-Davidson Twin Model J
This was a tough one. Contending against that zero-mile 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000 LE, it was this 1918 Harley-Davidson Twin Model J that has caught our imagination, despite having very little in the way of history with it.
At 102-years-old, the fully-functioning, unrestored machine has to be one of the finest in existence. While it certainly shows signs of its age – with an incomplete battery box, and replacement kick starter pedal and ignition – the majority of the motorcycle is in a remarkable condition, with the original factory paint, and H-D decal on the steering head. The headlamp, taillight, horn, luggage rack and stamped leather saddle are also all the real deal.
Arriving less than a decade after Harley-Davidson’s debut V-Twin, the Model 18 featured an air-cooled, 45-degree, 989cc Vee, which made about 15 horsepower at 3,200rpm.
The base model featured cast iron pistons, a three-speed gearbox and just a rear brake.
Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range Model J boasted a generator (rather than magneto) ignition (which was often troublesome and was later replaced on this model), and the optional 'Special Motors' denotation, which included lightweight aluminium pistons for more power and reliability, plus a number of other improvements.
Our mystery machine also features the following original factory options: a Stewart 75mph speedometer and drive gear, tank-mounted toolbox and frame-mounted tyre pump.
While the seller has never tried to start it, the Model J, which is estimated to sell for between £61,000 and £69,000, reportedly ‘responds with proper compression’ when kicked.