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Discussion Starter #1
In

1967
, a plumber doing renovations of an apartment building outside Chicago

tore down a brick wall and found what would prove to be a baffling mystery

to vintage motorcycle enthusiasts - a one-of-a-kind motorcycle bearing

1917 plates and the name "Traub". The building’s elderly owner admitted

that his son had stolen the bike before going off to WWI, never to return.

But where the bike came from and who made it remains a unknown to this day







Currently

residing in the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North

Carolina, the Traub is considered by many to not only be the rarest

motorcycle in their collection, but in the world.


The

Traub was sold to Torillo Tacchi, a bicycle shop owner in Chicago after

its discovery who later sold it to Bud Ekins - famous as Steve McQueen’s

stuntman - while Ekins was on set of the Blues Brothers movie in the late

1970s. The Traub was later sold to collector and restorer, Richard Morris,

who then sold it to Wheels Through Time Museum curator, Dale Walksler, in

1990. It has been on permanent display in the museum collection ever

since.



Don't

think this unique motorcycle is merely a museum piece though. Walksler

rides the Traub fairly regularly. When asked about the engine components,

he enthusiastically replied, “Everything inside the engine is just

magnificent. The pistons are handmade, and have gap-less cast iron rings,

the engineering and machining being simply years ahead of their

time.”







"When

comparing other top motorcycle makes and models of the era, the Traub has

no equal. Comprised of a sand-cast, hand-built, 80 cubic-inch "side valve"

engine, the machine has the ability to reach speeds in excess of 85 mph

with ease," says Walksler.Aside from its few off-the-shelf components, the

Traub has many unique handmade features. The three-speed transmission is

thought to be one of the first of its kind and the rear brake, a

dual-acting system that employs a single cam that is responsible for

pushing an internal set of shoes, while pulling an external set, has never

been seen on any other American motorcycle.







"For

a machine to have such advanced features, unparalleled by other

motorcycles of the same era, is truly outstanding," said Walksler. "It's

my opinion that The Traub was an attempt at a new breed of motorcycle. But

how on earth could a machine have been produced in such great form, with

capabilities that far exceed that of any comparable machine, without the

knowledge of the rest of the motorcycle industry during that

time."





The

hunt for the Traub's elusive origin hasn't stopped. "While we may never

know why the machine was placed behind that wall, we do hope to one day

find out more about its history and the genius that created it," said

Walksler.







More:


http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-american-motorcycles/mystery-of-1916-traub-motorcycle.aspx





 

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Discussion Starter #2
Post above is courtesy of BIG AL 57.
 

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Fascinating story!
 

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Link doesn't seem to work.

Here's a picture of the 1916 Traub that I took at Wheels Through Time in Maggie Valley a few years ago.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will repost pictures later, no time right now, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Whew !!! fixed. :lol:
 

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I have been to wheels Through Time and the Traub is a truly unique motorcycle.
When I was there, Dale told us that a gut with the last name of Traub stopped in the museum on a way to a family reunion.
He said he would inquire bout the bike, but never dis get a hold of Dale as far as I know.
 

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Last time I was there they were riding it out in front of the museum. Pretty cool.
 

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I don't remember seeing that one there.
I'll have to check my pictures.
We did see Dale giving guy a ride on this.


 

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Very Interesting, thanks for the post. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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Cool story. Thanks for sharing!
 
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