1925 Henley-Blackburne 550cc 4¼hp Sports
Registration no. SV 6943
Frame no. XU 3178
Engine no. F 619
The Henley Engineering Company was founded in 1920 in Steward Works, Doe St., Birmingham by a Major Gardiner, who used the name of his home town, Henley-on-Thames, as the company trademark. They remained in business under various ownerships until the early 1930s, latterly as New Henley in Oldham, Lancs., manufacturing well-built machines using proprietary engines from JAP, Bradshaw and Blackburne, but never became a mass-production maker.
The 550cc outside-flywheel engine of this 'Sports' Henley was originally designed by the de Havilland aircraft firm with the manufacturing rights being sold to Blackburne, famed for its sporting engines. During WW1 the design was further developed to a point where Blackburne gained second and third in the 1920 Junior TT.
This very rare and beautifully presented example of the 'big' Henley has had only two previous owners since registered in 1925 by a sweet-shop owner from Kettering. Partially restored by its second owner it was purchased in 1998, joining the Bakewell-based MMC Collection and featured in the collection catalogue. It has completed the Banbury Run on a number of occasions and was performing very well when tested by the writer.
One of the very last machines to be sold from the Collection, it is offered with V5C and a comprehensive collection of Blackburne and Henley material in original and photocopied form. Ready for the season, this very rare and powerful flat-tanker is a pleasing ride with a rather robust exhaust note and will certainly be welcome at all vintage events, if not by your neighbours on early-morning rides!
- The Frame number is not visible.