Author Topic: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme  (Read 776 times)

Offline cardan

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2022, 01:36:28 AM »
This photo from the Chell/Acme at Shannons Auction shows the frame layout described above.

What other bike/bikes used this frame arrangement?

Leon

Offline 33d6

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2022, 06:28:12 AM »
Those forks have had the standard bodge applied. Theyíre not the original adjustable spindles but just long bolts with no way of adjusting them. Iím going through the same exercise at the moment with a 1940 Excelsior. I bought a stalled restoration, beautifully painted but as Iím steadily discovering, nothing done mechanically. Iím spoiling the paintwork doing what should have been done first.
As usual Iíve outsmarted myself. I was at the fed up stage with my 1939 Montgomery and thought Iíd be miles ahead with this shiny Excelsior but I now have two half baked lightweights sitting in my workshop instead of one.

Anyway, back to this Acme/Chell. Itís just another example of a kit built British style lightweight . Pick your make of forks, engine, hubs, frame lugs, etc, and build another variation of a standard theme. In this case we know who assembled the original package as the frame number and engine number tell us so. Itís not the first time weíve  had some dreamer think heís got something exotic and it wonít be the last. My own pet peeve is claiming some mundane piece of old bangery is a ĎSportí model. And donít get me started about the loons who think they have some exotic racing engine because it has two exhaust ports.

Sorry, rant over. It just amazes me how people turn the most ordinary items in to something exotic on no credible evidence and sometimes I let loose.

Cheers,

Offline R

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2022, 06:50:41 AM »
Aye.
Some time back, I went to a Pickles auction and they had a somewhat incomplete Villiers lightweight,
could have been a Waratah. It was described as a 'racing model'.
It was all I could do to not laff out loud.

The buyers weren't so convinced though, it didn't making 'racing' money ...

Offline R

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2022, 07:00:02 AM »
One curiousity with that 'Chell' is that the rear brake pedal is on the rhs.
The Waratah had it on the left, with a crossover shaft behind/below the gearbox.

Wonder how the Acme did it ?

Yep, the (prewar) Acme is identical.
Do note the tyre pump - standing vertical there.
https://assets.shannons.com.au/B04RVF3H6600FVC/F659D0F515IW3XF4/4epvvkedoxgk6e42/jpg/2000x1500x3/vehicle/1939-villiers-acme-125.jpg
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 07:03:15 AM by R »

Offline 33d6

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2022, 10:06:04 AM »
My 1929 Excelsior has the brake pedal on the left with the rear brake drum on the left. My 1940 Excelsior has the brake pedal on the right with the rear brake drum on the right. My 1951 James had the brake pedal on the left with a crossover shaft to a rear brake on the right..
It doesnít make an atom of difference. The feel is the same regardless.

Offline cardan

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2022, 08:17:51 AM »
So what is the front fork on the "real" 1939 Chell. It has a rib pressed along the centreline? Looks the same as the fork on the 1939 Montgomery https://machinerysales.cheffins.co.uk/lot-details/index/catalog/1102/lot/491099/1938-125cc-Montgomery-Terrier-MOTORCYCLE-Reg-No-NSK-529-Frame-No-8603-Engine-No-AA3100-An-older-restoration-the-hand-change-3-sp

Is it the same as the fork on the 33d6 Montgomery?

Leon (who has square eyes from looking at so many 9D-Villiers-engined motorcycles...)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2022, 08:21:50 AM by cardan »

Offline Rex

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2022, 08:58:44 AM »
That (unconnected) speedo drive sticks out like a sore thumb. Not original surely?

Offline 33d6

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2022, 10:37:02 AM »
1930ís pressed steel forks drive me nuts. As far as I can make out the major manufacturers were Webb, Sackville, Druid and Brampton. Iím confident I can identify Sackville and some Webb but thatís about it.
I think Sackville used the same fork pressing for most if not all their forks but rang the changes for almost everything else. They seemed to make a range of forks from basic to de luxe using the same foundation for all.
Webb appear to do much the same except they also had a range of fork pressings.
Broadly speaking it appears to be much the set up as the British Hub Company where the same basics were used to produce a gazillion variations on a theme.
In short I have no bother sorting them out but precise identification is another thing altogether. Iíve never found any decent information on pressed steel forks anywhere.

And I go along with Rex. I donít think that speedo drive is original. Mine is a Ď39 Montgomery and it has nothing like that. Speedometers were not a legal requirement on British bikeís until the late 1930ís so little provision was made for them at factory level until they absolutely had to.

Offline cardan

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2022, 03:48:43 AM »
That's OK - the key take-away is that the fork on the Chell is different from the Sackville used on the Acme in 1939. And the rear stand is different, the frame is different, and the tank...

I've searched as best I can and can't find anything at all in the UK that looks like the Acme, save the mysterious "Chell" illustration attributed to Jim Boulton. It would be funny indeed if was an illustration of a machine built by a British firm for Bennett & Wood in Sydney! My best guess would be that the parts came from the Wearwell Cycle Co. in Wolverhampton, but if so you'd expect there to be a Wolf that looked like an Acme, and I can't find it. Mystery unsolved.

What about an Acme racer - I suppose it was built for "Formula 9D" racing. https://nationalmotorcyclemuseum.com.au/gallery/australian/Acme-Ika-477.htm

Cheers

Leon

Offline cardan

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2022, 10:27:13 AM »

Offline 33d6

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2022, 01:21:33 PM »
I see the usual Acme/Bantam story surfaces in the description. As Villiers introduced their 10D in 1949 and stopped making the 9D B&W couldnít have kept making the Acme as it was anyway.
It worked out very neatly for Bennet & Wood. The Bantam came along at exactly the right time.  As one door closed another opened without any effort on their behalf.
A firm has to be lucky sometimes.


Offline murdo

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2022, 05:45:45 AM »
Now that the bike is not so 'special' be interesting to see what it sells for.

Offline cardan

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Re: "1939 Chell Sport", or just an Australian-made Acme
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2022, 02:35:55 AM »
$A5,600, or a bit over 3,000GBP at the current exchange rate.

https://www.shannons.com.au/auctions/2022-shannons-spring-timed-online-auction/B5TX191B2Q4F6VBD/

I suspect this is more than it would have brought as a Chell, but who knows. With cream panels and ACME transfers it would be quite a nice-looking little bike, so not a ridiculous amount of money. There were better bikes in the auction that brought less - I liked the 1935 AJS 250 that was the next lot...

Leon