marman_twin_motorcycle

In 1941, Herbert Marx started the Marman Products Company, Inc. in Inglewood, CA. After starring in several Marx Brothers films as Zeppo (the straight man to his zany co-star siblings), his company assembled and marketed a motorcycle with a horizontally-opposed twin engine in 1948 and 1949.

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Zeppo Marx sits second from the left, the straight man of the comedy act.

Zeppo held many patents and developed products for the World War II effort before launching the Marman Twin. One such product was the Marman Clamp, a commonly used band clamp that achieved high-profile usage such as helping to secure the atomic bombs on the Enola Gay.

marman_twin_detail

The Marman Twin’s engine was manufactured by Cleveland, Ohio-based Jack & Heintz Aircraft Company. The simultaneously-firing 2-stroke boxer weighs 30 pounds, cranks out 3.5 horsepower and was originally designed for target drone airplanes used in WWII.

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There is space allotted in the chrome gas tank for a glovebox, which could carry the oil it required to mix with the 5 quarts of fuel it would hold. It employs a multi-plate, dry-disc clutch and could cruise around 35mph. The lightweight Schwinn MP97 frame was made specifically for the Marman Twin.

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A 1949 Jack & Heintz 2-stroke boxer engine originally used in WWII drone airplanes.

Below is a 1949 Jack and Heintz-branded motorbike using the same engine, but placed in a Shelby bicycle frame. This restored model was found on eBay a while back; the auction ended without a buyer (listed at $7,700).

jack_and_heintz_motorcycle

Another similar model manufactured during the same era was the Monark SuperTwin (below is a 1951), which proudly advertised they were a complete in-house production bike (as opposed to a kit).

monark

A restored 1951 Monark SuperTwin.

We’re not sure where the interest in motorcycles originated for Zeppo, but the pic below of Chico on a Harley-Davidson racer and the brothers’ sidecar antics in Duck Soup may shed light on their panache for motorbikes.

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Stay tuned to Good Spark Garage for more vintage motorcycle culture!

 

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8 Responses to Zeppo’s Marman Twin Motorcycle

  1. Ed Spiegel says:

    I own 3 Marman. Motor bikes restored as well as originals

  2. Steven P Williams says:

    I found one of these engines on ebay and bought it last year without a carb.
    Any ideas about hiw to locate one?

    Steven P Williams
    Mr. Williams Whirling Wheels
    Snohomish Washington USA
    360 535 1110

  3. James says:

    I have a Marman that’s in bad shape but I would be willing to sell for the right price. Right know it’s sitting in my house and is used as a conversation piece. Bad shape means…no motor, only the glove box side of the tank, no exhaust. Like I mentioned bad shape but still pretty cool to look at or just use as art.

  4. Bob Tracy says:

    I have a Marman Twin ,also a Monark super twin Bob

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