1920 ABC 398cc
Lot 367
1920 ABC 398cc
Sold for £4,025 (US$ 6,298) inc. premium

Lot Details
1920 ABC 398cc
Registration no. XG 2781
Frame no. 1458CC
Engine no. 1559
Designed by Granville Bradshaw and produced by the Sopwith Aircraft Company, the ABC drew heavily on its designer’s wartime experience in the development of air-cooled aero engines. A ground-breaking design, the ABC engine was a 398cc overhead-valve flat twin with integral four-speed gearbox. Legend has it that the power unit was designed in under three weeks, but Bradshaw did not stop there, going on to pen the duplex loop frame and sprung front and rear forks that marked out the ABC as one of the most advanced motorcycles of its day. It was fast too, J L E Emerson breaking the one-hour record twice at Brooklands, the second time at an average speed of 70.44mph, a feat that necessitated exceeding 80mph on occasions. Despite these successes, this promising design was hamstrung by production difficulties and price increases, just 3,000-or-so being made up to 1921 when the Sopwith factory ceased manufacture, though production of a modified version was continued by Gnome & Rhone in France. The engine, frame, wheels and fuel tank of this example were restored some years ago. Only assembled relatively recently, the machine will require re-commissioning before use. A supplementary mechanical oil pump is the only listed deviation from standard. The machine is offered with Swansea V5.
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