Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464

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Lot 149
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L
Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464

Sold for US$ 25,300 inc. premium
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration
1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L
Frame no. 521.0-2641
Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
• Expertly restored
• Matching numbers example
• Original Amal TT10 carburetor

They may have been marketed as "Gentleman's Machines," but the use of Sunbeams in competition was always encouraged by the works and, in the hands of riders such as George Dance, Tommy de la Hay and Alec Bennett, the marque scored many successes in speed events. In the mid-'20s, Dance-tuned lightweight "Sprint Specials" in particular were almost unbeatable in sprints and hillclimbs.

When cylinder-head guru Harry Weslake turned his talents to the beautifully made overhead-valve pushrod engine, the resulting Model 90 models gained the power and stamina to win race after race, prime performance being Isle of Man Senior TT victories by Charlie Dodson in 1928 and '29, with a near miss in 1930 when Sunbeam gearbox design had fallen behind that of their rivals.

Despite the economic collapse of the 1930s and increasing demands from company bean-counters to compromise, Sunbeam continued to produce machines of high quality, further developing the Model 90 in race and road versions. The most noticeable changes were an improved lubrication system and a four-speed, foot-shift gearbox replacing the "crash" three-speeder which had been such a disadvantage in 1930. The Model 90 was replaced by the very similar Model 95 from the 1934 season, reflecting an increase in top speed to 95mph, due in part to a new single-port exhaust and a semi-downdraft Amal TT10 carburetor. It was available as the 95R in TT replica trim or the 95L (for lights) sporting roadster.

One of only a very few Sunbeam 95L's still existing on either side of the Atlantic, this example was imported to the U.S. in the mid-1970s. The previous owner kept the bike laid up and unridden from 1978 until 2011 when it was purchased by the present vendor. An extensive restoration was commenced on the machine, verified as matching numbers by the UK's Marston Sunbeam Club. Both the engine and gearbox were rebuilt from the bearings up, with particular attention paid to the latter's shift action. New wheel rims were laced up with stainless-steel spokes. The original and rare Amal TT10 carb was rebuilt. The girder fork was brought back to stock specification with oversized spindles and reamed out bushings. Finer points of the restoration include the 95L's saucer-like speedometer, its triangular, leather-faced tool box, the frame-mounted tire pump and a proper Lucas battery box.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title is in transit.
Contacts
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
Ultra-rare OHV single, showing 211 miles since complete restoration,1934 Sunbeam 500cc 95L Frame no. 521.0-2641 Engine no. 95L.495.0.464
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