"THE FINEST
 THING ON
TWO WHEELS"

"The
Perfected
Four"

Bytt sprk til norsk As the brilliant motorcycle constructor William Henderson felt obliged to leave the Excelsior Henderson factory, he sought financial backing for a new motorcycle project. He set out to continue developing a new, fast and light inline four and got the means  established in Philadelphia Pennsylvania where he  got  a factory for building the Ace on Syracuse Street.

The new Ace  quickly got the word out and was able to deliver the new and beautiful four in just a year.  It was at this time in history that Henry Ford had got his Ford model T factory working at top speed and Ford and his lawyers were busy fighting off every lawsuit thrown at them for breaking all and any alledged patent rights .  William Henderson and the Ace factory made every effort to make the new Ace  different in every detail from its competitor four, the new side valve Henderson model K.  It was said that not even bolts  or screws were interchangeable on these machines.

The new Ace quickly became a favourite in motor sports and the factory supported this by staging a world speed record attempt themselves   prior to the 1923 Chigago Motor show. What more triumphant than to steal all attention with a record breaker and show winner in the home town of Ignatz Schwinn and the giant Excelsior Henderson factory.
My own Ace is currently about 90% restored, I have decided to plate the cylinders and restore and attach my Williamson sidecar before firing it up.
 William Henderson was killed in a road accident during a test run of an Ace and despite all the successes, the Ace factory went into financial problems and struggled on under different management until it was bought up by the big Indian Factory in 1926 to become the basis for their Indian-4.

My 1920 Ace was bought new by a then 23 year old woman. She used it  to join the competition in  long distance road races at the time. These popular races were run on public roads and were enduring tours under very rough conditions like from Oslo to Trondheim and back (by another route)

 First owner
The first owner
These popular competitions were the reliabilitiy runs equivalents of the international six days trials, but these national events were competition on penalty points for minutes too late or early. The total distance in three days were some 650 miles and both ways had mountain passings, and the roads of that day...

Quite a few Ace motorcycles were run and ruined in motor sports.Restoring the Ace is something really different.There are not many parts to be found. Some of the engine wrecks that still exists shows that the Ace of its day were run harder that they were built for. The facts that the owners still has kept the broken pieces lying about from the twenties, also shows that they respected those magnificent fragile thoroughbreds.

There is a mailinglist on Ace starting up here

Some Ace material

Klikk for  se Pre - production flyer Klikk for  se 1920 Presentation Klikk for  se 1924 Brochure. Klikk for  se Restart in 1924. Klikk for  se World Speed record
More links
the Henderson Motorcycle THE WINDMILL RALLY 
				2004 Indian Motocycle
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