The Milhous Collection

24-25 February 2012

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Lot 837

1947 Whizzer Motorbike

  • Frame no. N/A

Sold for $9,775

1.375 hp, single-cylinder air-cooled engine, single-speed belt drive, coil-spring front fork, coaster brake and cable-operated front drum brake. Wheelbase: 44"

• Delightful postwar example

• As seen in Popular Mechanics

The Whizzer motorbike arose from an engine marketed by Breene-Taylor Engineering, a Los Angeles manufacturer of aircraft parts, in 1939. Priced at $54.95, it was a 1.375-hp air-cooled unit for mounting on a bicycle frame. Sales of about 1,500 per year were disappointing, so Breene and Taylor sold the company to investor Dietrich Kohlsatt and attorney Martin Goldman. During World War II, the company petitioned the government to continue production as a wartime measure, since the Whizzer allowed defense workers to commute without their automobiles.

Postwar popularity grew, in part from advertising in such magazines as Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. The Whizzer engine was easily attached to a bicycle frame, typically a Schwinn but sometimes a Columbia. The last motorbike engine was made in the early 1950s, after which Whizzer expanded into children’s toys.

This 1947 Whizzer is mounted on a Schwinn Admiral bicycle. The type late-1940s motorbike, it has the iconic Schwinn colors of white and black with red stripe. There is a headlight on the front fender, and the Whizzer fuel tank on the upper frame bar. The rear fender is mounted with an open luggage carrier, and the leather-covered seat has twin coil springs. An early form of affordable city transportation, the Whizzer motorbike can still excite. Just like the thrill of one’s first fast ride on a real two-wheeler, the initial ride on a Whizzer brings out the adrenalin in enthusiasts of all ages.


Please note this Motorbike will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more