1955 Sunbeam 489cc S8
Registration no. 751 GMH
Frame no. S8 8348
Engine no. S8 13525
A wartime design by Erling Poppe, the Sunbeam inline twin was introduced by BSA, owners of Sunbeam Cycles Limited, in 1947. A luxury tourer inspired by the pre-war BMW, it was of advanced specification with overhead-camshaft engine, shaft drive and plunger rear suspension. The clutch housing and four-speed gearbox bolted directly to the back of the engine, which was rubber mounted in the duplex loop frame, an innovation that required a flexible joint in the exhaust system ahead of the silencer. The first S7 version was equipped with balloon tyres, a feature not carried over to the deliberately more conventional, and also lighter and cheaper, S8 introduced in 1949. The front fork and 7" brake were now standard BSA components and there were numerous other changes made in the interests of rationalisation. Never as popular as BSA's more performance orientated models, the gentlemanly S7 and S8 remained in production until 1957.
This particular S8 was acquired in 1988 from Robert McIntyre's Sorn Castle Collection where it had been since 1981, covering only some 100 miles in the intervening period. Last taxed for the road in 1982, '751 GMH' has been regularly maintained and only ridden on the vendor's lengthy private driveway since acquisition. Described as very original and said to run well, the machine is offered with various items of correspondence, old-style continuation logbook (issued 1965), copy of old registration document, sundry invoices, expired MoT (1975) and Swansea V5.
- The engine number is: S8 13524