Up the Ace's sleeve
Eddie Rickenbacker was one of America's greatest WW1 fighter aces and a Congressional Medal of Honour winner and had a famous bar and grill in San Francisco named after him. The bar's founder, Norman Hobday aka 'Henry Africa' sounds like a Humphrey Bogart kind of character who was either an army veteran, a former merchant marine or an escaped Legionnaire - depending on who its telling the tale...
Henry Africa, in a quest for originality, firstly invented the Lemon Drop Martini, and then decided to make his bar more interesting by acquiring an old Indian motorcycle as a piece of cool decor. Once he'd stationed it on the bar he saw what a crowd-pleaser it was, so he went on to adorn his bar with 30 more beautiful vintage motorcycles. These bikes festooned the bar, hanging from the ceiling, lining the walls and posing in the window. Presumably he had to stop at that to leave some room for paying customers!
Bikes under the hammer - read on...
Out of Africa's bar..
After Hobday's death last year his vintage motorcycle collection is to be sold off at Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California on August 16th during Pebble Beach Automotive week.
Vintage bikes released into the wild
Full details of his collection have not been released yet but it includes: Indians, Clevelands, Harleys, Excelsiors, Ariels, Moto Guzzis and Triumphs and a squadron of other, less famous, but interesting machines. Sounds as though a little motorcycle treasure-trove is about to be opened up so keep an eye on the Bonhams website for a full listing which will appear a bit nearer the time.