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Excelsior Autocycle

Excelsior Autocycle

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In 1912 an Excelsior was the first motorcycle to rip through a timed speed of 100 mph.

Black Friday, 1929, the stock market crashed and with it, the initial shadow of the Great Depression began to lengthen.

Motorcycle sales plummeted straight into the tank. The summer of 1931 saw Ignaz Schwinn, the owner of Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company, call his department heads together for a meeting at Excelsior.

The news he delivered that day was devastating.

“Gentlemen, today we stop”.

Schwinn had a cold moment as he understood the Depression could easily continue for years. Despite a book full of orders, Schwinn looked into a brutal future and saw nothing but darkness.

He chose to focus on his core business of bicycle manufacture. The work of building bicycles lived on, but motorcycle operations at Excelsior ended in September 1931.