c.1925 New Hudson 247cc Lightweight
Registration no. SV 8275
Frame no. 22458
Engine no. 20T 2441
The Birmingham firm of New Hudson started out as a bicycle manufacturer. The company's first powered machine of 1903 used a clip-on Minerva engine and this was followed by the first proper motorcycle in 1910. New Hudson made its Isle of Man TT debut in 1911 but major competition success eluded the Birmingham firm until Bert Le Vack took over racing development in 1927, becoming the first man to lap Brooklands at over 100mph on a 500cc machine that same year. Le Vack's mount was powered by a development of New Hudson's own overhead-valve engine that had first appeared at the Isle of Man TT in 1924, and this handsome power unit was also used by the factory team in the 'Island' in 1927, works rider Jimmy Guthrie finishing the Senior race in second place. New Hudson announced a new range for 1931, but the onset of economic depression did little to encourage sales and in 1933 the company, by then manufacturers of Girling automotive components, ceased to build motorcycles. There was a brief return in 1940 with the New Hudson Autocycle, later built by BSA.
The machine offered here is an example of New Hudson's two-stroke lightweight model, which was first introduced in 1914. Built under license from Levis, New Hudson's little 'stroker' displaced 211cc in its original form before being enlarged to 247cc after WWI. There was also a lightened competition version. This particular machine was first registered 'NX 2563' in the UK and was previously owned in this country by Harold Bird, of Solihull (in 1981) and Ron Farthing (in 2000). The third motorcycle acquired for the Collection, it was purchased in Barcelona from a private owner and features a P&H acetylene headlamp, Miller rear lamp, Lucas generator and Gough & Co 'Non Pareil' saddle. The machine is offered with Swansea V5 for the age-related registration mark 'SV 8275'.