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Messages - cardan

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1
Does it say WINCO? If so, it's off a bike so rare I can't even find a photo of one. 1920-22 they say, but they didn't advertise in the Motor Cycle or exhibit at the Show.

Leon

2
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 04, 2021, 09:00:10 AM »
That's an interesting snippet about early WW2 bikes, John, and fits in well with what we saw in Australia in 1940.

I found one image of a 1939 250cc Montgomery JAP, and in all ways (including the unusual frame detail abound the seat tube) it looks identical to the Delphine Utility JAP. So the story that Utilty JAPs were rebadged Montgomery JAPs has some legs. Not sure about the two strokes as I've never seen a photo, illustration or description of one.

Leon


3
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 03, 2021, 04:52:32 AM »
But back to Utility - the bike with the inspiring name.

R: I don't own the tank with the Utility transfer - in fact i can't even remember where the photo came from! Funny that it's a vintage tank with a (seemingly) later transfer.

33d6: The Utility timeline laid out higher up has no Utility motorcycles prior to 1934, so can you say more about how the police records are generated? Did the police say in 1931 that Utility motorcycles existed, or was it asserted retrospectively? Perhaps the rego records could play a part here, if we could find out when the first Utility was registered.

I've searched back through old Exhaust Notes (magazine of the VMCC of Victoria) and come up with a couple of photos of Fred Delphine's Utility, from the February 1985 issue. Date? Is it obviously Montgomery?

Cheers

Leon


4
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 02, 2021, 09:58:28 PM »
I don't think so, for a couple of reasons. The buying public were as smart then as they are now, and (mostly) companies didn't tell large lies in their advertisement.

Leon

5
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 02, 2021, 09:10:49 PM »
I don't understand it fully, but as 33d6 says we certainly had 1940 models of most British bikes out here. I guess they were built early in the new model year - say August/September 1939 - and the foreign capital available from their sale was needed for the war effort. I like the attached advert, for 1940 model Panther and James, from 24 January 1940. The bikes are described as "just landed" so were likely shipped in December 1939. The heading "You Positively Can Buy Genuine 1940 Model Panther and James" suggests that the population probably found it hard to believe at the time.

By February 1940 things seem to have dried up. Only places like Queensland were announcing "new shipment", and these were probably shipments from distributors in Melbourne or Sydney.

Leon

6
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 02, 2021, 02:49:56 AM »
As promised higher up, here are a couple of renderings for the "Utility" tank transfer.

The first is fixed to what looks to be a vintage Sun two-stroke petrol tank. So far as I can see, there were no Utility motorcycles before about 1934 (please correct me if I'm wrong), so perhaps the tank is from a renovated machine sold by Utility Motor Cycle Co. The transfer has a large 6-pointed star, with additional sun rays, and a banner across the front "UTILITY MADE IN ENGLAND".

The second rendering comes from a Finlay Bros catalogue of spare parts from c1950: they offered transfers for a range of machines, mostly British but also Utility and Acme. Presumably this is a later version of the Utility transfer, or perhaps a transfer additional to the large "star" version.

Leon

7
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: March 01, 2021, 12:57:13 AM »
Interesting. I'd be pretty confident that we had very few Villiers Junior autocycles out here. In 1937 there is some chatter about them being in use in England, and suggesting there could be a market out here. At there end of January 1940 there were reports about the Villiers Junior de Luxe, with its flat-top piston etc., with reference to "Wilfreds" in use in the UK and specific mention of Raynal. It seems pretty likely that Australian firms - like Waratah and Malvern Star - mostly skipped the Junior and only took up the autocycle with the Junior de Luxe. Of course a few of the earliest Waratahs in June 1939 (presumably Excelsior) might have used the earlier engine. Luckily, it doesn't matter too much!

Cheers

Leon

8
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 28, 2021, 05:51:16 AM »
Sorry to inflict pain! So the Villiers Junior (non-deluxe) is the one with the diagonal fins?

Leon

9
Yep. And once again it looks to be nicely made.

Leon

10
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 27, 2021, 06:14:38 AM »
Sounds good - I think that with the changes in Acme spec there is at least an idea how to date one in a photo.

Against my better judgement, I also had a look at the "Australian" autocycles, in particular the prewar or early-war versions. Of the makes we've been discussing, I don't see one from Utility or Cottman, but Waratah had the Waratah Junior (first mentioned in public in June 1939), and Acme had the Acme Junior (certainly from mid-1941, although there is a later advert for a 1940 model). Both were powered by the 98cc Villiers Junior, and I'd guess both were imported bikes, rebadged. I've not seen an illustration of either, but I'd like to if anyone has one.

Malvern Star certainly had autocycles from 1940, and in all likelihood they built their own cycle parts from the beginning. They had a huge bicycle manufacturing facility (in 1940 they claimed that 4,000,000 Malvern Star spokes were used annually), and could knock up a decent frame. Just postwar, they were particularly proud of the all-welded frame on their autocycle, rather than the usual brazed-up tubes and lugs. Anyway, here are four iterations of the Malvern Star if anyone is interested.

From what I can see, Malvern Star autocycle frame numbers fitted into the general Malvern Star sequence - see https://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=51805&start=0 . In the 1940s, 1Mxxxx means made in Melbourne in 1941, 8Mxxxx is 1948, 0Mxxxx is 1950, 51Mxxxx is 1951 etc.

Cheers

Leon

 

11
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 24, 2021, 09:17:31 PM »
Do you know the exact date or history of that Acme “period” photo Leon?

Unfortunately no, but it came from something to do with the postal service, and given a female rider I'd guess wartime. The bike looks pretty new.

Searching, I came up with another Acme photo from April 1940, clear enough to show the bullet headlamp rather than the "tobacco tin" version shown in all the 1939 photos. So I guess it was available from 1940? Were the headlamps specific to Villiers?

Cheers

Leon

12
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 24, 2021, 11:36:07 AM »
Thanks Mark.

Murdo's 1937-ish frame is presumably real RE.

The photos of the Cottman Colt under restoration are here: https://historicvintagerestorations.com/portfolio/cottman-colt-225cc-1936-motorcycle/

In one of the photos I get A6554 for the engine number, which is I think 1939. The gusset  that Graham mentions must surely be an Aussie repair from the 1940s - surely the RE factory would never do anything that agricultural! Nice to confirm that the Cottman is just a rebadged Model A. As I noted above, the restored CC has the central-exhaust cylinder, but not sure if that is original as even the CC brochure shows the 1939 right-hand exhaust.

Cheers

Leon

13
If not foot change, where does the linkage go??

Leon

14
Nicely made, but not by Sturmey Archer, and certainly not in 1928 when foot change was not even common at the Isle of Man TT race! That said, someone has gone to a lot of trouble, and personally I'd keep it as part of the bike's history.

The other option is to convert it back to how it was (worm clutch and hand change).

Leon

15
British Bikes / Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« on: February 24, 2021, 04:41:36 AM »
Also note the different Villiers headlights. Flat back prewar, bullet shape postwar. Tracking the various Villiers headlights over the decades is yet another world of mystery.

So if there was a period photo of an Acme with the pre-war muffler, toolbox and fork but a bullet headlamp? :)

My Wolf photos are said to be from the 1937 catalogue, from http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/Museum/Transport/Motorcycles/Wearwell2.htm . One of my favourite websites.

So Bennett and Wood looks OK: Wasp and Hornet from March 1937 through 1938 as rebadged Wolfs, followed by Acme from March 1939 "built" by Bennett and Wood. I don't mind too much "couldn't compete with the BSA Bantam" as a reason to cease production in 1949, but the end of the 9D the same years is also worthy of note.

Utility is not bad, if a bit confusing. Are there surviving photos or perhaps a catalogue? I don't have any real evidence supporting the "rebadged Montgomery" story, but it's certainly plausible.

Cottman Colt is probably ok, as rebadged Model A Royal Enfield, but I can see anything prior to 1939, which is the year RE went to a vertical engine and single-down-tube frame. A surviving CC has the 1939 RE frame, a 1939 RE engine number, but (confusingly) an earlier cylinder with the central exhaust, as used with the twin-down-tube frames. The CC brochure shows the 1939-on RE layout with the exhaust on the RHS. The surviving CC had strange all-encompassing engine plates - not sure if these were an RE feature, but they don't look right.

Waratah is ok.

Simplex was Turner Bros effort c1936 - they were in all sizes 125, 148, 196, 250 - and were imported, but without an illustration I can't say more. Interestingly Turner Bros were at 291 Elizabeth St in 1936, a building owned by W. T. Cottman, who was the Singer car distributor at the time. In 1940 Turner Bros vacated 291 - they had the building next door at 295 - and Cottman moved in to 291, so it bacame home of Triumph, Indian, and the Cottman Colt!

These 1930s efforts in badge engineering are not particularly important, but it's nice to get the record straight. As for whether imported bikes with Australian names should appear in a book on Australian motorcycles, I'm relaxed. If you came across a "Cottman Colt" or a B&W Hornet or a Utility JAP you won't find mention in a UK book!

Cheers

Leon

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