1929 Ascot-Pullin 496cc Sports Utility
Registration no. BF 4244
Frame no. 119A
Engine no. AP123
One of only eight-or-so surviving examples of 1914 TT winner Cyril Pullin's revolutionary design, 'BF 4244' was superbly restored by the Light brothers and has been on museum display in recent years.
Introduced in 1928, the Ascot-Pullin was manufactured in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, by the Ascot Motor and Manufacturing Company. Advertised as, 'The New Wonder Motorcycle', it was packed with innovations inspired by car-industry practice, but failed to appeal to the notoriously conservative motorcycling public. The engine was a horizontally mounted overhead-valve single that drove the in-unit three-speed gearbox via helical gears. A pressed-steel frame enclosed not only the engine/gearbox unit but also the fuel and oil tanks, both of which incorporated filler-cap level gauges. A pressed-steel dashboard housed the rest of the instrumentation, together with electrical switch gear and ignition/air controls.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the Ascot-Pullin's most novel feature was its hydraulic brakes, possibly the first on a motorcycle. Pullin's own design was used at first but was soon supplanted by a more conventional Lockheed system. Other unusual features conceived with user-friendliness in mind included a telescopic centre stand with alternative 'easy parking' and 'wheel removal' settings, and an exhaust valve lifter coupled to the kick-start for easy starting. 'Extras' available included an adjustable windscreen with optional wiper, leg shields and a rear-view mirror. Although they would eventually be sorted out, the machine's teething problems fatally tarnished its reputation and production ceased in 1929 after between 400 and 500 had been built.
'BF 4244' is one of three Ascot-Pullins previously owned and restored by the Light brothers: Derek ('Jack'), Colin and Rex. Although purchased as a 'job lot', they were finished at different times and painted in different colour schemes, the blue one completing the Banbury Run in 1988. In 1989 the blue one and the red one (that offered here) both completed the Run and in 1990 the black-and-white example together with the others successfully completed the Run with the three Light brothers on board. They also completed the Graham Walker Run that same year and were sold thereafter. The blue example 'GH 3858' was featured in The Classic Motor Cycle magazine (April 1990 edition).
In 2004 Jack Light sold the black-and-white and this red Ascot Pullin, which was serviced and ridden before being placed on display in the Hockenheim Museum as part of the Museum's collection. It was serviced again in May 2013. One of only seven-or-so known to survive, this rare, Vintage-era, technological tour de force is offered with V5C registration document.
- The Registration number is as per the catalogue.. We are unable to view the engine number due to body panels.