1926/27 Grindlay-Peerless 350cc
Frame no. 1143
Engine no. IO/I/81050
A short-lived marque, Grindlay-Peerless is nevertheless guaranteed its place in motorcycling history thanks to works rider/tuner Bill Lacey, who in August 1928 became the first rider of a 500cc machine to exceed 100 miles in the hour on British soil. Like many production Grindlays, Lacey's bike used a twin-port JAP engine and the marque also fitted Barr & Stroud, Rudge Python and Villiers power units. Grindlay-Peerless had started out as sidecar makers, only turning to motorcycle manufacture in 1923. The company entered the 1930s with a varied line-up of models ranging from a 172cc Villiers-powered lightweight to a 750cc JAP-engined v-twin. Thereafter the range was gradually reduced in number and only five models were offered in 1934, the last year of Grindlay-Peerless motorcycle production.
This Grindlay-Peerless was found in a carpenter's workshop in a village near Munich, Germany in the early 1970s. It was purchased by Don Godden from a friend and imported in 1974 (H M Customs & Excise import document on file). The motorcycle has never been registered in the UK or run on the road, and does not possess a registration document. The import document states the date of manufacture to be 1926; however, the JAP engine's number indicates that it was made in 1927. The Grindlay's condition suggests that it is very unlikely that the engine has been changed and it is probable that the machine dates from 1927. It is believed that Don got the Grindlay running shortly after acquisition but it has not run since then and requires complete restoration. The front mudguard carries a plate of technical information and another showing the supplying dealer: Reissl & Gasser, Munchen, Winthirstr.12. This beautiful and rare Vintage-era Grindlay-Peerless would make a very enjoyable machine for VMCC events, with the additional unusual feature of having electric lighting of German manufacture.