c.1918 Calthorpe-JAP 293cc
Lot 496
c.1918 Calthorpe-JAP 293cc
Sold for £3,220 (US$ 5,412) inc. premium
Lot Details
c.1918 Calthorpe-JAP 293cc
Registration no. SV 4455
Frame no. H4405
Engine no. A1279
Manufactured by the Minstrel & Rea Cycle Company, of Birmingham, the first Calthorpe motorcycle appeared in 1909 powered by a 3.5hp White & Poppe engine. The following year there were no fewer than six Calthorpe models displayed at the Motor Cycle Show at Olympia, some of which featured an ‘free’ engine clutch and two-speed gear. Precision-engined models, including a 5/6hp v-twin, joined the line-up a few years later together with an overhead-valve ‘Tourist Trophy’ model. By 1919 the range had shrunk to just two lightweight models: a 293cc JAP and a Peco-powered two-stroke. In the 1920s the famous ‘Ivory’ Calthorpe first appeared, so called because of its distinctive finish to fuel tank and mudguards. South London dealers Pride & Clarke held exclusive sales rights to the range for 1937 but Calthorpe would not survive for much longer, going into receivership in 1938. The brand was revived briefly post-war by DMW, though production machines used the latter’s name only.

An early example of its type believed to date from around 1918, this Calthorpe is powered by a single-cylinder, sidevalve JAP engine and has the two-speed Enfield transmission and belt final drive. Kept in dry storage for many years and consequently rust-free, it has been restored over the past two years and is a recent concours and reliability run winner. Work undertaken has included rebuilding the engine with new main and con-rod bearings, new valves and springs, new timing pinions and new piston rings (the piston is the cast-iron original); re-sleeving the Amac carburettor and rewinding the Ericcson magneto. The two-speed transmission has been rebuilt also and the drive chains, drive belt, wheel rims and tyres renewed. The saddle and primary chain guard are the only listed deviations from factory specification. This rare Edwardian/early-vintage lightweight is offered with spare parts list, copy documents/period publications and Swansea V5 registration document.