"But this does not still answer my question as to why this treasure of pleasure and the inspiration to the whole mountain bike world has not been snapped up by some indiana jones collector of inspiration or the national world museum for bicycles has not called the fellow scholars to buy this for there sanctum of cycling history....
The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame already have an early Cunningham and I expect their are others in captivity.
First fat-bike with a derailleur ridden off road:
This is from the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame:
As far as I know it was Russ Mahon of Cupertino, California (75 miles south of Marin County), who came up with this combination, in 1973. He grafted derailleurs onto a 1930s balloon0 tire bike built by the Cleveland Welding Company. He also put thumbshifters on this bike. Three Cupertino riders including Mahon showed up at a Cyclo-cross race in Marin, December 1974, pollinating Marin with these ideas. They then departed the scene for more than 20 years...."
"Let’s start in 1953. That year, John Finley Scott made the world’s first known mountain bike. It had multiple gears and knobby tires. He called it his “woodsie.”
The "multiple gears" are derailleur though the bike in the photo has the chain tensioner fitted under the bottom bracket.
Does anyone know of an earlier "First fat-bike with a derailleur ridden off road?"