1920 Acme 8hp Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. RE 575
Frame no. T2 1155
Engine no. 20N/77034/K
Acme is best remembered for its association with the Rex concern; both firms had premises in Osborne Road, Coventry, Rex setting up there in 1899 and Acme a few years later. Unlike its close neighbour, which built motor cars and tricycles as well as motorcycles, the Coventry Acme Motor Company Limited, to give it its full name, was only ever a motorcycle manufacturer, its first machines being powered by the ubiquitous Minerva engine. Models fitted with Acme's own engines followed, as well as others with JAP power units. The firm filed patents covering a number of innovations in motorcycle design in its early days, including one for a sprung frame in 1916. For the 1920 season, by which time it had been taken over by Rex, Acme introduced an 8hp motorcycle combination powered by a JAP v-twin engine. The latter was supplied to Acme's specification complete with magneto drive taken from the left side of the engine rather than the 'timing' side, as was usually the case with JAP motors, an arrangement that facilitated access to the ignition points. A Sturmey Archer gearbox, Brampton Biflex forks, folding footplates and an Amac carburettor completed the specification of what was an undeniably handsome motorcycle combination. Acme's days as an independent brand were numbered however, and from 1921 onwards the two firms' ranges were unified under the 'Rex-Acme' name.
This rare survivor of an historic Coventry marque was previously owned in the UK by one E McKnight, who acquired the combination in June 1992 and presumably was the owner when it gained a 1st prize award at the Selkirk Vintage & Classic Vehicle Show in 1993. Fully restored cosmetically, the machine is equipped with matching Smiths '60mph' speedometer and clock; Lucas acetylene headlamp, tail lamp and generator; and klaxon-type horn. There is an AA badge (number '35157J') mounted on the front fork and an 'Attwood's Garage-Stafford' transfer on the front mudguard, while the affixed tax disc expired in May 1994. The machine is offered with Swansea V5C, which notes three former keepers.