c.1944 Welbike 98cc Project
Engine no. 439/21451
Built by Excelsior of Tyseley, Birmingham, the wartime Welbike was a 'fold-away' miniature motorcycle designed to be dropped by parachute in support of airborne troops. The Welbike employed a low-slung tubular frame, on top of which sat the fuel tank, while the saddle was mounted bicycle-fashion on a tubular seat post. The tall handlebars could be folded down flat and the wheels carried 12½"-diameter tires, the result being a masterpiece of packaging that could be fitted into a modified standard equipment container, measuring no more than 15" in diameter, for the purposes of the drop. Although intended for airborne troops, by 1943 the Welbike was being used by other military units, including Army Commandos and Royal Marines, while in the Far East it found favour with RAF personnel as solo transportation around airfields. Almost 4,000 had been produced by the war's end and then in 1948 the civilianized Corgi version appeared. Manufactured by Brockhouse Engineering of Southport, the Corgi used the Excelsior Sprite engine rather than the Welbike's Villiers Junior. Offered for 'spares or repairs', this Lot consists of a number of dismantled components to include a frame, wheels, front fork, saddle and Villiers Junior engine. Its presence in the collection is perhaps explained by the fact that Brockhouse had become a major investor in Indian in the late 1940s and gained control of the Indian Sales Corporation when the company's operations were split into separate sales and manufacturing divisions. Offered on a bill of sale
- Please note, the image in the printed catalog is incorrect. The correct image can be seen online.
please note that the frame number for this bike is 782.