1898 Phébus 2¾hp Motor Tricycle
Registration no. BS 8513
Frame no. 6908
Engine no. 1019
The Phébus motor tricycle was produced by the Anglo-French Clément-Gladiator-Humber conglomerate under the direction of Noé Boyer, whose own company would later manufacture the Phébus voiturette and Boyer car. The marque took its name from the Greek and Roman sun god, Phoebus (Apollo). French-built Aster proprietary engines were used to power Phébus motor tricycles, one of which, ridden by the pioneering racing motorist, Charles Jarrott, achieved the then astonishing speed of 39mph at the Crystal Palace velodrome. Jarrott's racing companion on the day was the UK's Phébus importer, F F Wellington.
This very rare Phébus motor tricycle is fitted with a correct 322cc Aster single-cylinder engine rated at 2¾hp. The machine was purchased in France in June 2009 by the immediately preceding owner and was in 90% complete condition when acquired. It has since then been treated to a complete 'last nut and bolt' restoration by Mick Penney, the renowned tricycle specialist. Items missing included the ignition timer and coil, exhaust silencer, camshaft and timing gears, all of which have been made anew, as well as the control levers. The original surface carburettor has been replaced with a period Longuemare spray carburettor for ease of use and improved performance.
Only a relatively few test miles had been covered since completion and the machine was presented in fully restored condition when it was offered for sale at Bonhams' sale at the RAF Museum, Hendon in April 2010 (Lot 319) and bought by the current vendor, since when it has been on museum display. Geared for speeds in excess of 30mph, the Phébus is eligible for both the RAC London to Brighton and Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club Pioneer runs. The machine is offered with operating instructions, Pioneer Certificate, SORN letter, expired tax/MoT (September 2010) and Swansea V5C registration document.
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