The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 50
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle

Sold for £ 29,900 (US$ 37,914) inc. premium
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT
1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. WU 6464
Frame no. 3
Engine no. TT3 (see text)
• Works entry in the 1926 Isle of Man Senior TT
• Finished in 18th place
• Long-term previous ownership (1963-2015)
• Present ownership since 2015
• Well documented

Bradford-born inventor Alfred Angas Scott's experiments with two-stroke motorcycle engines began in the closing years of the 19th Century, leading to the grant of a patent in 1904. Scott's original design for a vertical twin two-stroke engine incorporated the central flywheel with 180-degree overhung cranks and slim connecting rods that would characterise his products from then onwards. One of its chief advantages was close spacing to the cylinder axes and main bearings, thus virtually eliminating the vibratory rocking couple hitherto associated with vertical twins. The first complete Scott motorcycle prototype followed in 1908, its twin-cylinder engine, two-speed foot-change gear and all-chain drive marking it out as an exceptionally advanced design for its day.

Like most of their rivals, Scott recognised the value of publicity gained from success on the racetrack - and particularly at the Isle of Man TT - and first entered the latter event in 1909, becoming the first two-stroke to start in a Tourist Trophy race. Back-to-back victories in the 1912 and 1913 Senior events would turn out to be the highlights of the firm's TT record, though Harry Langman came close again in 1922 and 1924, finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. The 1924 works bikes had featured 'square' engines of 68.25mm bore and stroke, and this new 498cc unit became available in the Super Squirrel introduced later in the year.

However, the three works Scotts that arrived on the Island for the 1926 race were unlike anything that had gone before. So groundbreaking were they that in its practice report of June 10th 1926, 'The MotorCycle' devoted considerable space to the new Scotts, including a photograph on this very machine, 'WU 6464'. The engine would have been familiar but the frame, forks, tank, and three-speed transmission were radically different from the earlier two-speed racers. The whole machine was substantially bigger and heavier. These new Scotts were the template for the new Flying Squirrel, which was launched at Olympia later in the year and which, with various minor changes, stayed in production at Shipley until the factory closed in 1951.

Scott's 1926 TT riders were Harry Langman, Ernie Mainwaring, and Jack Welsby. By the end of the first lap, Langman and Mainwaring were both out, but Jack Welsby rode 'WU 6464 to 18th place in the seven-lap race. Many years later he wrote to Bob Currie who published the following account of Jack's race in 'The MotorCycle' of 18th April 1957: 'On the third lap, he recalls, he took the jump at Ballig Bridge at too high a speed, and the resulting jolt on landing stripped every tooth from the second-gear pinion. From then on the Scott was ridden in top gear only, a feat which placed quite a handicap on braking and cornering. Ramsey had to be negotiated in short, sharp skids, while Welsby was able to make the Mountain climb only by playing tunes with the clutch, which he fully expected to burn out at any moment. However, it was strongly constructed and stood the racket with only minor protest.' The same article tells us that in practice 'Welsby was timed at 92.2 mph on the Sulby Straight, and the drop to Hillberry was made at 107 mph'.

Jack Welsby had written to Bob Currie after reading an article published on 28th February 1957 entitled 'The Squirrel Flies Again'. Mr Leslie Deacon of Margate had written seeking more information about an old Scott which he had bought for £12. Bob Currie was able to identify the machine as Jack Welsby's race bike from 31 years earlier, and the story took up a complete page of the magazine.

The late previous owner, Alan Cooper, acquired this historic Scott in 1963 and would own it for the next 50 years. In April 2015, the machine was offered for sale by Alan's widow at Bonhams' Stafford auction (Lot 250) where it was purchased by the current vendor. Last run in 2010, it will require the usual re-commissioning before being used. It is believed that the crankcase was changed at some time prior to 1957.

The machine is offered with a V5C document; a buff continuation logbook dating from 1948; copies of the 1926 TT practice report and the two 1957 articles mentioned above; two original letters to Mr Deacon from 'The MotorCycle'; an MoT certificate from 2010; and copies of photographs from the Isle of Man in 1926 and one of the machine in 1957, which was published with Bob Currie's article at that time.

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 be advised one of the arms has sheared to the rear stand due to metal fatigue. Therefore, the successful purchaser will need to organise repair at their cost.
Contacts
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
The ex-works, J H Welsby, Isle of Man TT, 1926 Scott 498cc TT Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 3 Engine no. TT3 (see text)
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £500,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £500,000, VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.