1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219

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Lot 215N
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo
Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219

Sold for £ 25,300 (US$ 33,544) inc. premium
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo
Frame no. 22217
Engine no. AC 2219
• Aircraft-quality, sporting vintage British v-twin
• Previously unknown to Martinsyde collectors
• Sympathetic restoration retaining original patina

Famous for the manufacture of Martinsyde aircraft during the First World War, the Woking, Surrey-based Martin and Handasyde factory needed to diversify to survive in peacetime. Himself a motorcyclist, company director Paul Martin no doubt influenced the decision to produce a high-quality motor cycle sidecar combination - sidecar manufacture being an ideal sidestep for the works' airframe builders.

At a time when most new manufacturers relied heavily on proprietary component makers, the Martinsyde was an in-house production. Licences were purchased to manufacture their own copies of AJS gearboxes and Brampton front forks and, eschewing the popular JAP vee twin as a power unit, Martinsyde produced their own unique 680cc exhaust-over-inlet vee-twin engine. The design had been purchased at great expense from Howard Newman of 'The Ivy' concern, the unusual exhaust-over-inlet configuration being chosen to isolate the hot exhaust valve from the cylinder where it typically led to distortion and 'heat fade'. A drop forged steel crank running on three roller bearings provided a similarly strong bottom end. The complete machines reached the market late in 1920 and favourable reports in the press assisted sales.

For 1922 an expanded range reflected increasing interested in Martinsyde machines, not least due to competition successes in the Brooklands 500 mile race and in road trials, including the Scottish Six Days. Gone was the old box tank, now replaced by a sleek cylindrical drum, while a gearbox re-design permitted a shorter wheelbase for improved solo handling. Overall the bikes were much more sporty looking and the range had been extended to include a 500cc model.

However, despite good sales through the year, the company was suffering financial problems that the introduction of a Brooklands 750cc model and a 350cc single failed to resolve. Production ceased and the motorcycle side of the business was sold to BAT of Penge in 1924.

With such a short production run, few Martinsydes survive today - probably around forty machines, according to the Martinsyde Register, an informal owner's group started by enthusiasts in 1969. This 500cc Model C Solo Sports has spent recent years in a significant private collection in Italy and is particularly exciting being hitherto unknown to the Martinsyde Register, suggesting it has been abroad for at least fifty years and perhaps even since new. Sympathetically restored by its previous owner sometime in the 1990s and carefully stored since, it will require re-commissioning and safety checks before being returned to the road. Lot 215 represents a rare opportunity to acquire an example of one of these high-quality and unusual vintage v-twins. Offered Without Documents.
Contacts
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
1922 Martinsyde 500cc Model C Sports Solo Frame no. 22217 Engine no. AC 2219
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