Restored Danish Classic – 1949 Nimbus Model C

In Standard, Vintage by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update: This Nimbus sold for $12,658.50 after 38 bids on eBay.


In 1919, Nimbus debuted its first motorcycle with the Model A (or “Stovepipe”), followed by the unimaginatively named Model B. In 1934, the company introduced the Model C, which was, at the time, a pretty advanced and cutting-edge offering. Manufactured by Fisker & Nielsen of Copenhagen for the Nimbus brand, the Model C would remain in production for a quarter-century until the dawn of the ’60s. Over its 25 years of production, well over 10,000 units were produced – a figure that was helped along by the Danish government’s propensity for using the Model C.

At the heart of the Model C was an air-cooled, 746cc, inline, four-cylinder, SOHC engine that reportedly produced 18 horsepower, though a Sport-spec of the Nimbus was later offered that boasted an additional 4 horsepower thanks to different pistons that afforded higher compression. The Sport-variant was further differentiated from the base model by a higher-mounted pipe. Depending on gearing, the Model C was reportedly capable of speeds of up to 75mph, and could reach freeway speeds while burdened with a sidecar rig.

Even the non-Sport-spec Model C’s were “decently sporty” for their day, with the Model C supposedly holding the distinction as the first production bike to come equipped with a telescopic fork, granted BMW repeated this feat less than a year after Nimbus (though some sources say BMW was actually first). In back a lesser-sporty hardtail setup was employed — limiting the aft suspension to a sprung (or rubber-banded) saddle — to accommodate the Danish scoot’s direct shaft drive. Another noteworthy element of the Model C was its engine’s lack of valve covers which left the various engine internals on display.

According to the Nimbus Club USA, there are approximately 6,000-7,000 surviving/remaining examples on the planet today, with roughly 4,000 of those residing in the bikes’ native Denmark, though that number doesn’t include non-road-registered specimens. In North America these machines are markedly rarer finds, with the Nimbus Club estimating 200-250 examples on the entire continent.

This particular Forest Green example was reportedly restored some time ago, though is said to still be in solid condition both mechanically and cosmetically. According to the seller, this example was registered in California as a 1939 model year, though a subsequent running of the VIN (courtesy of the Nimbus registry in Denmark) would reveal this Model C actually left the factory a decade later in ’49. Another strange aspect of this restored Nimbus is its exhaust, which appears to be a unit off the Sport-spec, though the seller fails to make mention of this (or this example’s exact/particular model for that matter, albeit I’m confident it’s a Model C). Based on a photo of the speedo in the ad it appears this example currently has 3,529 kilometers (2,192 miles) on the odometer.

In addition to the ad including a dozen photos, the seller also shot and posted a quick video on YouTube yesterday of the bike being fired up cold and revved a bit. I highly recommend giving it a watch if you’ve never seen one run as it’s fun to see the springs and rocker arms bounce around and do their thing.

You can find this 1949 Nimbus Model C for sale in San Jose, California with bidding up to $4,758 (and the reserve not yet met)

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