1938 BSA 350cc M19
Registration no. DRU 489
Frame no. JM19 1097
Engine no. JM19 140
Newly arrived from Triumph, Val Page designed a new range of four-stroke singles for BSA, which first appeared in the autumn of 1936. This was the 'M' series, the most famous example being the M24 Gold Star. Built in various capacities up to 600cc (in the case of the M21 sidevalve) the 'M' engine was necessarily robust. The 500cc models and the 350cc overhead-valve M19 sports roadster all shared the same 94mm stroke, which in the case of the latter was combined with a bore of 68.8mm. This made the M19 unique among BSA's 350s, the rest of which would retain the traditional 71x88mm bore/stroke dimensions until the arrival of the unitary construction era. Dropped after only two seasons in production, the M19 is one of the rarest BSA models of the 1930s. It is estimated that fewer then 200 were made.
One of only two examples currently registered with the VMCC, this M19 was previously owned by two members of the same family: John Cecil Palmer and Hugh Cecil Palmer, the former acquiring it in December 1952 and the latter in June 1973. Correspondence on file from the BSA Owners' Club states that that 'DRU 489' remained in the same ownership from new until 1989, though this would appear to be mistaken. A letter to J C Palmer from the BSA factory (dated 7th September 1971) states that the machine had been supplied to Craze Brothers of Boscombe on 19th January 1938. Had Mr Palmer been the original owner he would not have needed to ask BSA who supplied it. Both Palmers are listed on the accompanying old-style logbook (issued March 1953) followed by Mr Leo Norman Worth (the immediately preceding owner) who acquired the BSA in November 1990. The current vendor has owned the machine since circa 2000.
Un-restored, 'DRU 489' is described as in working order, though 1st gear is sometimes difficult to engage. Taxed for the road until 31st May 2014, this ultra-rare post-Vintage BSA is offered with the aforementioned documentation, an original instruction book and old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents.