Author Topic: Villiers 197cc  (Read 14699 times)

Offline cloggy

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Villiers 197cc
« on: January 23, 2015, 08:38:30 PM »
Hope someone can help identify the origins of an engine I have just unearthed in my dads shed. Apparently  he paid 5 for it back in the mid seventies.
 It appears to be complete. Engine number stamped into front of crankcases is 087B and under that 55617.







Many thanks
Alan

« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 10:47:35 AM by cloggy »

Offline R

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 10:32:00 PM »
Think you have a Villiers 6E engine.
You don't show quite enough of it to be certain,
does this look like it.
http://www.geocities.ws/julak_acil/villiers/mk6e_197cc.jpg

Villiers had quite a history with their 197cc engines, covering quite a few years and uses and styles for engines.
Can't find my "Book of the Villiers Engines" but some knowledgeable villiers folks on this site will likely add  more.
It is noted someplace the 6E was replaced in 1953, with a later series of 197cc.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 10:35:23 PM by R »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2015, 05:50:45 AM »
This is a curious one. The 087B engine number prefix refers to the original purchaser from Villiers which theoretically also then gives a pretty good idea what it was intended for.

The main reference list for postwar Villiers identifying numbers is that drawn up by Roy Bacon and printed in his book 'Villiers Singles and Twins". Unfortunately Roy makes it very clear his list is incomplete and he only covers motorcycles anyway. He barely mentions Villiers powered British scooters or microcars or anything else Villiers powered. Over time I have gathered a extra number of N.I.B. (Not In Bacon) prefixes but there is still a long way to go.

Your prefix 087B doesn't appear in either list. Yes it appears to be a run of the mill 197 with 3 speed gear box from the early '50's but firstly it's incomplete and secondly it has a very neat slot machined out of the inner primary chain case as if an extra drive take off was intended. Something along the lines of the system used by Indian to drive their generator may have been intended. It certainly couldn't be used in a motorcycle like that. Not unless you liked having an oil stain up the left leg of your trousers.
Probably it is a bog standard 6E but as Villiers would mix'n'match their components to assemble something a little different if a customer would pay for it, it may not be that standard inside the primary chain case. Only an exploration with a Villiers spares parts list to hand will solve that one. So, yes you have what seems to be a Villiers 197 but its provenance remains a mystery with a good chance it isn't motorcycle.

Lets see if anyone else knows.
Cheers,
 

Offline cloggy

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2015, 05:38:18 PM »
Gents,

I have also uncovered the barrel, head, carb, kickstart and gear lever. The piston is 30 thou over. The generator just has one white wire coming out (plus the HT lead) which I believe dates it to 1951 onwards.

R: It does look like the 6E diagram so that would put it between1951 and 1953 ?

There is no slot in the primary case, I think it just looks like there is in the photo.

Can anything be interpretated from the engine number 55617 ?  does it suggest the customer 087B was a large or small buyer (i.e did each buyer have its own set of engine numbers starting at, in this case 55000?

33d6: Can you say from your list that it is not from a Bond minicar?

Cheers
Alan
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 09:57:30 PM by cloggy »

Offline 33d6

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2015, 05:42:01 AM »
Hi Cloggy,

There isn't much to be gained from the 55716. All the interest lies in the prefix number 087B. The 55716 appears to be more just an internal factory number. Perhaps they had made 55716 6E engines by then. I think if that number of engines had been made for the one buyer we'd know all about it as most Villiers sales were in penny packet numbers compared to todays manufacturing figures. We often forget how small the British motorcycle industry was when compared to today. Remember Honda make more bikes before morning tea than the likes of Dot, Cotton, Ambassador & Greeves, etc, made in a whole year.

I can't help much with Bond engine numbers one way or the other. Roy Bacon included early Bond motorcycles in his book but not Bond cars nor Bond scooters. I do have the engine prefix for the early Bond cars using the 125cc 9D engine in my own list but nothing else. Villiers engines got used in all sorts of devices. Recently a good number of them came on to the market here in Australia: all ex-New South Wales Railways. They were used to power gangers trolleys and finally the Railway decided to sell them off. With the prefix 514B they didn't get a mention in Bacons book either. It's not unusual to find an orphan Villiers like yours, hopefully someone will know.
Cheers,



Offline cloggy

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 02:37:11 PM »
Have checked with the Bond minicars owners club. The prefix is not from a Bond. I have asked if they can send me the engine prefix's that do relate to Bond's as they may be useful to someone. Will update if I get a reply.

Offline darloman

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 04:38:10 PM »
Hi Alan it may be a 7E or 8E  but if you google ( the villiers story by Jack Sizer ) you will probably get a bit closer. Good luck Bud.

Offline cloggy

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 08:28:46 PM »
Thanks Bud,
According to Sizer the B prefix to engine numbers came in in 1956 and D came in in 1960 (no mention of C), so mine must be 1956 to 1960. That would make it a 7E or 8E. The piston is flat topped so does not appear to be HC so I suppose this suggests its an 8E.

Still no ID but glad to have found a bit more info.

Alan
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 09:29:53 PM by cloggy »

Offline cloggy

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Re: Villiers 197cc
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2020, 06:53:41 PM »
Gents
Re-opening this 5 year old topic to see whether any further info is now available regarding the engine code 087B. I've run out of stuff to do during 'lockdown' so have pulled this Villiers engine out to see if i can get it running.

Only info I've come across is a DOT scrambler which was auctioned by Bonham's in 2017 which was fitted with an 8E engine? which had the code 087B. According to the blurb the engine was from a Greeves.

Here's the link https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24131/lot/329/

Thanks for looking

Cheers
Alan