Icon 1000 Axys Collection

1921 Ner-a-Car

Neracar
For a hundred years, motorcycle designers have been toying with different ways to connect the front wheel to the frame. And there’s always been someone trying to make hub center steering work. The machine you’re looking at here was probably the first attempt: called the Ner-a-Car, it was designed by American Carl Neracher during the tumultuous years of WWI. After the war finished, production began in factories in England and the USA, with a seven-year run finishing in 1928. It’s an extraordinary piece of engineering innovation, and the steering was just one of many elements that broke the mold. The Ner-a-Car also had an infinitely-variable friction drive transmission, a foot-forward seating position and a perimeter frame chassis similar to that of contemporary cars rather than bicycles. Around 16,000 Ner-a-Cars were built, and there are just over 100 remaining today, in various states of roadworthiness. This particular machine is for sale for €12,500 (US$16,500) at the Dutch vintage motorcycle dealer Yesterdays—which seems like a remarkably small price to pay for such a rare and innovative motorcycle. It’s certainly cheaper than the modern-day counterparts produced by Bimota.

Neracar
Neracar
Neracar