Author Topic: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike  (Read 115 times)

Offline dnalei

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Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« on: August 15, 2019, 03:57:23 PM »
My great grandad - he died in 1932 so guessing it was taken late 20s / early 30s. He was the North Wales Mineworkers Union agent - based in Wrexham. I assume he used this to visit the local collieries. Anyone know what it is? Thanks, DanJ.

Offline mini-me

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 07:57:26 PM »
having the photo the right way up is a great help.
This is a 1924/5 Sunbeam ohv reg Birmingham.

Offline R

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 11:19:44 PM »
Is that a racing slick on the front ?!

Offline cardan

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 06:06:37 AM »
Hi Dan,

Your great grandad was a man of taste - even though the Sunbeam was looking a bit tatty (and the tyre a bit bald!) by the time the photo was taken.

I suppose it's a Model 9 (500 ohv) from around 1928. Electric lighting optional at this date.

https://www.marston-sunbeam.org/models/500_OHV/model9.html

Cheers

Leon
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 06:14:40 AM by cardan »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 09:40:19 AM »
I love this “electric lighting optional” bit. At that date all lighting was optional. Buy yourself a new bike and lighting, horn, mirrors, pillion footrests and pillion seat plus speedo were all optional accessories and didn’t come as standard on your new machine.
Electric lighting was by far the most expensive lighting option. An electric lighting set for my 1926 Matchless cost a third of the price of the whole bike. And as for a speedo, looxury, sheer looxury!! If you could afford a speedo you could afford a better bike so would do that rather than have a speedo.
Acetylene gas lighting was much a much cheaper option.
Of course you could buy an el cheapo Villiers powered beastie and have electric lighting at the cheapest price of the lot but that is a different story all together.
It was a quite different world back then.

Offline cardan

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 12:21:47 PM »
I love this “electric lighting optional” bit.

I love this "Villiers are the best" bit. :)

Perhaps we could have a dissertation on the link between Villiers and Sunbeam, including a discussion of whether the late 1920s Model 90 Sunbeam or the Villiers Super Sport-engined lightweight was the finest machine of the Vintage era. (One of each would fit in any collection?)

Re electric lights, I think it was as late as 1932 that most makers finally included lights with their new bikes. I suppose it would have been a couple of years earlier has not the depression hit so hard. Somehow a flat-tank overhead valve Sunbeam looks a bit over-domesticated when fitted with electric lights. Surely it was born to be kept light-less, with just a bobby-dodger bulb horn clipped on somewhere out of sight?

Cheers

Leon

Offline mini-me

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 02:16:12 PM »
reg number was issued 1924/5 so thats what I based the age on.

Offline dnalei

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 04:12:35 PM »
Thanks for the info everyone.

Offline cardan

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 11:53:58 PM »
reg number was issued 1924/5 so thats what I based the age on.

That's interesting.

From 1924-1926 the Model 9 was the "sports roadster" of the Sunbeam range, and was quite a lithe thing, with (relevant to us) spindly front fork, a narrow front tyre and a blade front guard.

The fork on the bike in the photo - with the friction damper on the lower links and the big valanced guard - was new for 1927, so a production date of (say) September 1926 at the earliest? Saddle tanks for 1929, which puts production in the range Sept 1926 - Sept 1928.

Any chance DM 6080 could fit in with those dates?

Cheers

Leon

Offline 33d6

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 09:09:13 AM »
Ho, ho, ho Leon. I didn't say Villiers lighting was good electric lighting, just that it was there. It was much the same as old fashioned bicycle lighting with the dynamo you ran off the wheel. Maximum available wattage in early sets was 4.5 watts for each lamp, tail and head. Still, a light you could switch on without stopping was much better than the acetylene option. Stop, turn on water, wait, when you can smell gas, light a match!
Of course you are well aware of the Sunbeam/Villiers connection. Both were owned and started by the Marston family so were very close. Dad first made Sunbeam bicycles then motorcycles. Sent son to the US to look at mass production methods . Son returned with US machinery for making bicycle parts which he set up in Villiers St. Son ended up making two-stroke engines as well as bicycle parts. If it hadn't been for the Sunbeam factory needing to increase production to fill bicycle orders Villiers might never have come in to being.

Cheers,


Offline mini-me

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Re: Unidentified 1920s 1930s bike
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 12:21:52 PM »
Quote
Any chance DM 6080 could fit in with those dates?

It could do, issued 1903 to 1936, in Flintshire, which is the bit of Welshlandia to include Wrexham, so it looks like you are on the money.