1924 Sunbeam 493cc Model 9
Registration no. HF 2288
Frame no. OP244
Engine no. 229/244
Sunbeam had begun experimenting with overhead valves on their factory racers in the early 1920s and these duly appeared on 350cc production models in 1924. The new '500' sports roadster was known as the Model 9 - the '350'as the Model 8 re-designated as models 90 and 80 with the parallel pushrod engines for 1927 when 9s and 8s were relegated to a touring role. The John Greenwood design was advanced for its day, with a specification that included a crankshaft supported by three ball-bearings, dry-sump lubrication, and primary drive enclosed in an cast alloy chain case. Power was transmitted by single-row chain to a three-speed, 'cross-over drive' gearbox with offside power take off. For a short time these new sports models were also offered in 'Sprint' specification, complete with wedge-shaped fuel tank and a frame with a sloping top tube, as developed by factory racing star, George Dance. The non-Sprint models, such as that offered here, were known by the sobriquet 'parallel', a reference to their different top tube arrangement.
First registered on 7th August 1924, 'HF 2288' is one of the earliest 'parallel' Model 9s extant. The machine was first registered in Southport and may have been raced on Southport Sands. The current vendor acquired the Sunbeam from Pratts of Greenwich in the late 1960s/early 1970s. By then its condition had seriously deteriorated and the owner had little choice but to undertake a comprehensive restoration. We are advised that the machine is original apart from the gearbox, which was beyond repair; originally a close-ratio kick starter-less close ratio CT unit, it has been replaced with a later (and stronger) AT shell, which is fitted with a new set of close-ratio internals, the kick-start mechanism having been removed.
'HF 2288' is stated by the vendor to be both light and very quick, but has not been used for many years and thus requires re-commissioning before returning to the road. The machine is offered with old-style buff logbook, Swansea V5 document and a substantial quantity of paperwork. The original gearbox shell is included in the sale. The engine has been lubricated with Castrol R and a leak from the front of the oil compartment is the only fault notified.
- The frame number is partially obscured and it has not been possible to read it in its entirity.