Motorcycle Sport & Leisure

PRECIOUS METAL: HENDERSON ART DECO STREAMLINER

While motorcycle design has arguably never been more important than it is today, it’s essentially introspective in nature, and generally speaking has never reflected the mainstream design culture in sectors like fashion or architecture, and especially cars. But occasionally something surfaces that swims against that current of convention, as one look at the recently restored American four-cylinder Henderson motorcycle created by O. Roy Courtney in 1935 will confirm.

Art Deco was an innovative and ultra-distinctive style of design, which spanned the boom times of the Roaring 20s and the bust of the Depression-ridden 1930s. Derived from the French term , it embraced all forms of design, from fine arts to fashion, furniture to film, photography to transport, and exterior architecture to interior design. It celebrated the newly mechanised modern world, yet embraced both handmade and mechanical manufacture of all kinds of creations, from everyday products to exclusive works of art. It originated in France in 1925 as the successor to Art Nouveau, then quickly spread around the world, to bring its distinctive style to the streets and skylines of cities from Paris to New York, Sydney to Shanghai, London to Vienna. Art Deco was avant garde, and it was everywhere, from cinemas to skyscrapers, from luxury ocean liners to exotic automobiles – and, yes, to some motorcycles, too, like the French Majestic – a sort of two-wheeled Delahaye car – the five-cylinder FWD Megola made in Germany, the American Neracar that was

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