1922 Blackburne 8hp Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. CE 918
Frame no. A606
Engine no. T579
Founded by brothers Cecil and Alec Burney, who had bought the rights to a motorcycle engine designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, Burney & Blackburne Ltd was based at Tongham near Farnham in Surrey, a far cry from the British motorcycle industrys Midlands home. The Blackburne company, which presumably took its name from the Burneys financial backer, is best remembered as one of this countrys foremost manufacturers of proprietary engines, which were supplied to numerous British and Continental brands. In an advertisement in The Motor Cycle of 29th December 1918, Blackburnes advertising for its 7-9hp v-twin cited 15 years experience with that type of engine, which suggests the firm must have been around since at least 1904. Several Gold Medals achieved in the popular long-distance reliability trials of the day were listed as Blackburne successes.
In its earliest days the firm also built complete motorcycles, its sole offering in the years immediately prior to WWI being a 3½hp (499cc) sidevalve single. From 1920 an 8hp (999cc) v-twin was added to the range and at this time manufacture of Blackburne motorcycles was taken over by the Osborn Engineering Company (OEC) of Gosport, Hampshire, which in 1923 began marketing them under the OEC-Blackburne name.
Equipped with Cowey 100mph speedometer, Powell & Hanmer rear light and sprung pillion seat, this ultra-rare Blackburne motorcycle combination has formed part of the Collection for some 30-plus years. The machine is offered with its original buff logbook and old-type Swansea V5.