Author Topic: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history  (Read 3661 times)

Offline 33d6

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #90 on: February 28, 2021, 06:41:32 AM »
Yes. Introduced 1934, fixed head, diagonal fins and cast iron piston so the later JDL with alloy head and piston was a great leap forward (but from a very low base).

Essentially I think the introduction of the original 98cc Midget powered speed Great Depression bikes in the early 30's quickly showed there was a viable market for the powered pushbike autocycle type machine. Mainly by non motorcyclists who just wanted a bit more convenience and range than was offered by riding their pushbike. Villiers then stepped in with their 98cc Junior which included a built in single speed transmission and clutch to make operation a lot more convenient.

Silly as it is I confess to being partial about these Great Depression ultra lightweights even if they would find it a battle to get away from an autocycle. They kept factories ticking over which otherwise might have gone to the wall.


Offline cardan

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #91 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

Offline cardan

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #92 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

Offline R

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #93 on: March 02, 2021, 06:45:10 AM »
A trick you may like to try, if you still have that tank, is to rub/dab across it gently some strong phosphoric acid.

This brings old paintwork back to life something marvellous, even if only temporarily.
It will need gentle sponging off with water afterwards, or a white bloom may set in.
This is excellent for seeing old fine pinstriping details etc - removing some of the rust effect helps considerably.
But you knew this ....

Offline 33d6

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #94 on: March 02, 2021, 06:48:31 AM »
Thanks for that Leon. I can't really see that Sun style Utility transfer on my Montgomery/ Utility. I thnk it would take up the whole tank. The bottom one seems much more likely. I have mixed feelings about the whole Montgomery/Utility thing. It will be good to have a confirmed provenance for the bike one way or the other but honestly, what bragging rights are there in riding a bike called a Utility. It would have to be  the most boring and unimaginative name ever.

I checked the Vic Police List of Machines for Utility years. Only listed 1931-34 then a gap until 1938, 1939, and 1940. Listed as fitted with only J.A.P or Villiers engines.

For our English friends a 1940 Utility would not be unusual. I think we got a hefty proportion of 1940 production. We were your biggest overseas market at that time. Makers seemed quite keen to get their bikes out here before getting them requisitioned in the home market. I suspect the export market was more profitable than a home requisition. For something that is supposed to be quite rare, in my motorcycling life I've owned a 1940 VB Ariel, a 1940 Model 2A AJS and currently have a 1940 Excelsior. I also know of another 1940 AJS, a 1940 Matchless and a 1940 Triumph Speed Twin, all local here in Victoria. So not that uncommon.

On other things, would the Finlay Bros catalogue include a sample 'Simplex' transfer?

Cheers,

Offline Rex

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #95 on: March 02, 2021, 09:15:03 AM »
Given the rush to change to a war economy and the need to produce war materiel I doubt any of those bikes are really "1940" but are the last of the 1939-produced bikes.
Apparently the factories' new model year was around August time so if they were made in Aug 39 (and there couldn't have been many of them) they would class as 1940 models, but the chances of Civvie bikes being produced in 1940 and exported Down Under are slim to none.

Offline 33d6

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #96 on: March 02, 2021, 11:53:11 AM »
Thatís always been the case Rex. The model year has never had any relationship to the calendar year so roughly the initial 20% of production of any model year was made in October, November and December of the year before.
So, they were examples of the 1940 range and numbered and sold by the factory as such even if made late 1939. Just as happened every year.

Remember our seasons are the reverse of yours. These bikes would be getting out here for the start of our summer riding season. Theoretically spring brings out the buyers but how true that is I donít know.

Offline Rex

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #97 on: March 02, 2021, 06:07:54 PM »
Indeed, but I'm struggling with the concepts of a) the UK government letting bikes be exported after the start of the war (August), and b) valuable shipping space being used for commercial items like bikes for general sale in Oz, plus the obvious danger in losing the ship itself on the way there.
A certain well-known bike journo hack claimed some time back that his Sunbeam was an obscure model made only in the 1939-40 (the strange looking model with the over-large timing case) until someone corrected him by saying that the only thing being made in the Sunbeam factory at that time was aircraft avionics and gun sights.

Offline cardan

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #98 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

Offline R

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #99 on: March 02, 2021, 09:49:53 PM »
Thats if Oz wasn't receiving left over 1939 models being peddled as "1940" models ??

War was declared the 3rd Sept, so they wouldn't have had much time to build many new seasons models ?

Offline cardan

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #100 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

Offline cardan

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #101 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


Offline 33d6

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #102 on: March 03, 2021, 07:40:38 AM »
I can't help further with the Utility information Leon. Essentially, in pre computer days, as vehicle registration was a police matter all Victorian Police stations outside the metropolitan area were issued with a very large book listing all types of vehicles, car, truck, tractor, motorcycle, road sweeper and so on that were required to be registered for road use in Victoria. This monster book gave the basic identification details for every make and model put on the road here. As anyone could bring any vehicle into any police station to get it registered the policeman on duty had to have some idea as to whether the vehicle presented was genuine or not. This book gave him the information he needed to know. If what you presented didn't fit the book you had to explain why not and prove your case.
I don't know what degree of accuracy the police aimed for but they certainly treated it as their Bible. If it wasn't in there or the details didn't fit you needed a very good story.
Regardless of the above I'm sure there must have been some errors. There was bound to be but to what extent I don't know.

Those photos of the Utility transfer are just what I wanted, definitely in period with my machine. I have no knowledge of the Delphine machine. I can't remember it at all.

Cheers,

Offline murdo

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #103 on: March 03, 2021, 07:51:29 PM »
The photos of the Fred Delphine Utility above show the exact wheels and forks that are hanging in my shed that came from the Royal Enfield model A that I found in a tip a few years ago.
There is also a Waratah in the Nabiac Museum but I don't have a picture of it and am unable to get there to get one until I heal up a bit.

Offline R

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Re: Junkyard Villiers find - Waratah history
« Reply #104 on: March 03, 2021, 11:03:09 PM »
I don't know what degree of accuracy the police aimed for but they certainly treated it as their Bible.

That book would have had needed more entries in it than Tragatsch's "Encyclopedia of Motorcycles" ?
What did other states do ??

I'll quote a more recent (counter) example of that.

During the Y2K computer saga (remember that) someone here took their Matchless down to be registered,
the first time in quite some years.  On his return, we asked how it went.
"They said the computer didn't know about a Matchless, so it was registered as a Yamaha".
And he had the rego papers to prove it   !!!!!