c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278

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Lot 492
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan
Registration no. YSY 372 Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278

£ 8,000 - 10,000
US$ 10,000 - 13,000
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan
Registration no. YSY 372
Frame no. 5266
Engine no. 3278
Like so many famous and not so famous motorcycle firms, that founded by Harry James in 1880 started out as a bicycle manufacturer. Based at Sparkbrook in Birmingham and later at Greet in that same city, the James Cycle Company built its first motorcycle, a Minerva-powered machine, in 1902. The first model to be powered by James's own engine followed in 1908; this was the 'safety' James, a radical design featuring wheels carried on stub axles, scooter-fashion. More orthodox designs followed, with two-stroke, sidevalve, overhead-valve, single- and twin-cylinder models featuring in the range before the end of the 1920s.

In 1929 James introduced the first of its three-wheeled 'Handyvan' lightweight commercial vehicles, taking advantage of the preferential taxation rates for three-wheelers weighing less than 8cwt. This first 5cwt model was powered (under-powered?) by a 247cc engine and was superseded in 1934 by new 8cwt and 12cwt versions propelled by a 1,096cc v-twin engine. There were four basic options available: a 12cwt 'bulk capacity' Handyvan; 8cwt and 12cwt open-sided vans; a 12cwt pickup truck; and a rolling chassis suitable for bodying by independent coachbuilders. The Handyvan in its various forms continued in production until 1939 alongside similar offerings from Raleigh and Reliant.

Presented in excellent condition, this 8cwt Handyvan has been very sympathetically rebuilt, mostly by the current vendor and his family, with the exception of the specialist work. Originally a 'central steerer', it was converted to right-hand drive during the rebuild, which was completed in time for the 2006 Netley Steam Fair. The van comes with its own purpose-built trailer and is offered with assorted restoration photographs, copies of original Handyvan literature, MoT to November 2010 and Swansea V5C.
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278
c.1935 James 10hp 8cwt 'Samson' Handyvan Frame no. 5266 Engine no. 3278
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