1937 Excelsior 350cc Manxman
Registration no. FFC 955
Frame no. MM722
Engine no. CXB210
Like most other pioneers of Britain's motorcycle industry Excelsior fitted European manufacturers' proprietary engines at first before turning to home-produced power plants - mainly Villiers, JAP, and Blackburne. Acquired by R Walker & Sons in 1919, Excelsior moved from Coventry to Tyseley, Birmingham. The Walkers believed in the value of racing for development and publicity and the revitalised company was soon making its mark in competition, early successes including a number of World Records set at Brooklands by Tony Worters on 250cc and 350cc JAP-engined machines in 1926. Today Excelsior is best remembered for its overhead-cam Manxman.
Although it had proved fast enough to win the 1933 Lightweight TT in Syd Gleave's hands, Excelsior's complex twin-cam, radial four-valve 'Mechanical Marvel' proved something of a disappointment thereafter and at the end of the 1934 season the Tyseley firm opted for a simpler design: the Manxman. Like the Marvel, the Manxman engine was built by Blackburne, though increasing friction with its engine supplier forced Excelsior to take over production themselves early in 1936. A single-overhead-camshaft, two-valve design, the Manxman was built in 250, 350 and 500cc capacities. Road and race versions were offered, though the 500 was only ever marketed as a sports roadster. Although it never won a TT, the Manxman enjoyed considerable success in international racing and the Manx Grand Prix, Denis Parkinson winning the Lightweight race three times on the trot between 1936 and 1938. Notable Manxman developments included the switch to a shorter-stroke 250 engine in 1937 and the adoption (also applied to the 350) of an aluminium-alloy cylinder head with right-hand exhaust port.
This 1938-model 350cc Manxman was first registered by King's Motors (Oxford) Ltd in October 1937. Restored in 1995, 'FFC 955' was purchased by the current vendor at Brooks' Stafford Sale in April 1997 (Lot 402). Kept serviced and used recently, the Manxman was ridden to and from its recent MoT inspection and is described as in generally excellent condition. The machine is offered with DVLA and Oxford CC correspondence, old-style continuation logbook (issued 1954), MoT/tax to March 2013 and Swansea V5C registration document.
- The frame number is MH722.
We are advised that the DVLA have asked the vendor to return the V5C in order for a change to be made, and that the vendor will forward on the replacement to the new owner. The vendor advises us that prospective purchasers are welcome to contact him to dicuss the above if they have any concerns.