1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630

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Lot 318
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo'
Registration no. FK 4003 Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630

Sold for £ 8,625 (US$ 10,719) inc. premium
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo'
Registration no. FK 4003
Frame no. B26350
Engine no. J2630
• Laid up in 1957
• Restored in the late 1990s
• Present ownership for 18 years

The first Sunbeam motorcycle - a 350cc (2¾hp) sidevalve single - left the Wolverhampton premises of John Marston Ltd, hitherto a manufacturer of finest quality enamelled goods, bicycles and - latterly - cars, in 1912. Designed by Harry Stevens (later to found AJS) the 2¾hp Sunbeam was equipped with a two-speed countershaft gearbox and fully enclosed all-chain drive, proving an instant success in an era when the norm was hub gears and belt-drive.

Like Marston's other products, his motorcycles soon established a reputation for sound construction and exemplary finish. The marque quickly established a reputation for sporting prowess, achieving 2nd place in the 1914 Isle of Man Senior TT and winning the 1920 race. Overhead-valve engines were introduced in the mid-1920s but successes continued with sidevalve-engined machines, most notably the 492cc (3½hp) 'Longstroke', which secured a debut win at the 1921 French Grand Prix ridden by Alec Bennett. In road-going form this remarkable engine remained in production right up until WW2.

Reputedly, this Model 5 'Longstroke' was discovered in a garage having been laid up in 1957, the year that the last of the accompanying 1950s tax discs expired (see 'as found' photograph on file). In October 1997, the Sunbeam was registered to Mr Jonathan Durrant, who sold it in May of the following year to the current vendor. Mr Durrant had purchased the machine, which had spent all its life in the Worcester area, from the brother of its deceased owner. Copies of original registration records on file show that 'FK 4003' was first registered in March 1929 to Bowcott & Co - 'Leading Cycle Manufacturers and Dealers' - of Worcester.

The vendor completed the Sunbeam's restoration in 2000 and advises us that it is totally correct except for the dynamo's conversion to two-brush operation. Presented in beautiful condition, 'FK 4003' successfully competed an 'End to End' run several years ago but has not been ridden for some time. Re-commissioning will be required before it returns to the road. Restoration bills are on file and the machine also comes with a V5C registration document; a quantity of expired MoTs and tax discs; SORN paperwork; assorted correspondence; and a folder of photocopied technical and other Sunbeam-related literature.

Saleroom notices

  • The Frame Number is B2635.
Contacts
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630
1929 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 5 'Light Solo' Frame no. B26350 Engine no. J2630
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