Rarest of the Rare:
BIKE DESIGNED TO MAKE DELIVERIES THAT NEVER TOOK OFF – FEATURED ON ‘AMERICAN PICKERS’ THE US HISTORIC COLLECTIBLES SHOW – FOR SALE WITH SILVERSTONE AUCTIONS MAY 14th
“Probably the most interesting bike I’ve ever dealt with, I love it.” Mark Bryan, Silverstone Auctions
Mark Bryan of Silverstone Auctions on the By Van, a short-lived experiment in deliveries
Featured on American Pickers, the cult reality TV show, this Turner By-Van was launched by the Turner Manufacturing Company in the late 1940s under the new “Light Delivery Vehicles” banner as an alternative to a van for smaller businesses and sole traders. It is now for sale with ‘No Reserve’ at Silverstone Auctions on May14th at The Devitt MCN Festival of Motorcycling.
Mark Bryan of Silverstone Auctions says: “The engine turns with compression but will need restoring or recommissioning. But as it is being auctioned at ‘No Reserve’ it could provide one of the biggest surprises in the sale. Probably the most interesting bike I’ve ever dealt with, I love it”
The machine is powered by a Turner Tiger 168cc two-stroke engine driving the front wheel via a two-speed gearbox. But not every idea is commercially viable and this one joined many other clever ideas in the dustbin of automotive history, making it today one of the most collectible of motorcycling items.
1950 Turner By-Van 168cc – No Reserve – 20 recorded miles
Sold at a price of £120 in the 1950s with a claimed 30mph, it never really took off and subsequently production ceased with only a handful produced. This example appears to have never been registered and shows just 20 recorded miles. It has been in the same family ownership for the last 40 years and is in original and unrestored condition.
The American Pickers show follows antique and collectible ‘pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who travel around the United States and abroad, now and then, to buy or “pick” various items for resale, for clients, or for their personal collections. This very rare By-Van was featured on an episode of the show where Mike and Frank on the hunt here in the UK, tried to buy it.