1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 3160 Engine no. 3160
Lot 11
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 3160 Engine no. 3160
Sold for £5,290 (US$ 8,891) inc. premium
Lot Details
1921 ABC 398cc
Registration no. RC 1989 (see text)
Frame no. 3160
Engine no. 3160
Mechanically speaking, and in contrast to contemporary British singles, 'Tom' Sopwith's 400cc horizontally opposed ABC twin produced at his former aero factory in Kingston upon Thames - was an advanced design. The farsighted specification included a cradle frame, leaf rear springing, a 4-speed gearbox, internal expanding brakes, plus footboards and leg-shields...yet was supplied without a kick-start lever! Announced at the 1919 Motorcycle Show it created an immediate demand. Despite that the Kingston factory's skilled workforce was underutilised in the post war vacuum, there somehow occurred a number of frustrating delays before production commenced. Coupled with too high a price, less than 3000 models were sold before the motorcycle division was closed in 1923.

Discovered 40+ years ago by the vendor (on Epsom & Ewell Council's rubbish tip) the ABC has been subject to a lengthy rebuild which, due to advancing years and other factors, was never fully completed. Although the machine has been continuously stored at the owner's home certain external surfaces have subsequently suffered some deterioration since a cessation of the restoration during the early 2000s. Overall, however, and allowing for the absence of a few minor components, the ripe-for-refurbishment ABC is an attractive project, enhanced by the availability of two spare cylinders and an assortment of parts which accompany the Lot. Offered without documents, but with correspondence linked to the rebuild, it should be noted that the registration number has lapsed; the machine, nevertheless, is listed in the VMCC Register.

Saleroom notices

  • The machine is offered with V5C, old-style V5C, ABC Owners Club correspondence, VMCC correspondence and DVLA correspondence. It has not been possible to locate the frame number. The machine is offered for re-restoration.
  1. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801