Nimbus 'C' Models - The Bumblebees

In addition to being a brilliant engineer, P A Fisker understood the importance of marketing and promotion. Although the Nimbus 'C' motorcycle was practically unchanged throughout the life of its manufacture from 1934, you wouldn't think it looking at the various models that seemed to come out of the factory from time to time. There was also quite an array of colour options available (see Nimbus colour identification elsewhere on this website).

As with many other motorcycles of the period, the customer was also offered some choices to mix-and-match to the specifications they wanted. These are recorded on the Nimbus works build record.

Here is a list of the stated 'standard' models:

  • Standard
  • Standard Extra
  • Luxus
  • Special
  • Sport

On the next page you will find a chart showing what years these models were produced. This information has been assembled by Nimbus guru Knud Jorgensen from the original works books.

Most of the model differences were cosmetic finishes, and in some cases - the only difference was the model name itself. However - in a couple of cases, the differences are between the 'Sport' - and other models, and early 'Special' and other models.

The 'Sport' model had a slightly raised compression engine up from 18BHP to 22BHP - by using domed-top pistons. Also, the 'Sport' was fitted with an upswept exhaust system.

The early 'Special' models had raised compression too - but no upswept exhaust. The later 'Special' (after 1951) was really a 'Standard' model with a different name - no engine changes.

Upswept exhaust system on a Nimbus 'Sport' model from the late 1940s

And on a late 1950s replica (officially, the Sport wasn't made then)

These are the ONLY differences between the 'Sport', 'Special', and all other models - there are NO engine or frame markings, or other stampings anywhere to otherwise indicate the model. Consequently, it is quite easy to falsify the provenance of a 'Sport' or 'Special' model (or the age of any Nimbus motorcycle) - so beware of this.

The only way to guarantee that the Nimbus in front of you is what is claimed is to view the original works manufacturing record for that particular frame number. Nimbus, like other meticulous manufacturers (Roll Royce cars for example) kept informative works build records, which will show everything - including a note of the smallest change or detail requested by the customer. These records were completed by hand.

All these records still exist, as they were saved from destruction when the factory closed. Sometimes it is also possible to glean useful information from early Danish test certificates (like an MOT). See below.

Danish test certificate

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