Bonhams : 1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472

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

Lot 452
1921 ABC 398cc
Registration no. CE 7031 Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472

Sold for £ 19,550 (US$ 24,511) inc. premium
1921 ABC 398cc
Registration no. CE 7031
Frame no. 1472
Engine no. 1472
• Advanced design by Granville Bradshaw
• Present family ownership since 1938
• Ideal lightweight Banbury Run mount

Designed by Granville Bradshaw and produced by the Sopwith Aircraft Company, the ABC drew heavily on its designer's wartime experience in the development of air-cooled aero engines. A ground-breaking design, the ABC engine was a 398cc overhead-valve flat twin with integral four-speed gearbox. Legend has it that the power unit was designed in under three weeks, but Bradshaw did not stop there, going on to pen the duplex loop frame and sprung front and rear forks that marked out the ABC as one of the most advanced motorcycles of its day. It was fast too, J L E Emerson breaking the one-hour record twice at Brooklands, the second time at an average speed of 70.44mph, a feat that necessitated exceeding 80mph on occasions. Despite these successes, this promising design was hamstrung by production difficulties and price increases, only 3,000-or-so being made up to 1921 when the Sopwith factory ceased manufacture, though production of a modified version was continued by Gnome & Rhone in France.

For many years Godfrey Moore, now in his mid-80s, was co-owner and/or joint MD of Moores Motorcycles Ltd, established by his father in Hemel Hempstead in 1936 and a highly respected dealership that continues today under a third generation.

Godfrey's father acquired the ABC via a part-exchange transaction, circa 1938, and used it as personal transport until WW2, at which point it was laid up. Godfrey then used it for recreational riding in post-war days, which included a couple of Banbury Runs. He states it was last 'actively ridden about 10 years ago', and most recently ran in 2016, since when it has been stored inside his residence.

This ABC is very generously equipped for the period, featuring lights, Smiths speedometer, foot-boards, saddlebag, tools, etc, though its original bulb horn is no longer present. Although some restoration work has been undertaken (in the late 1970s), the aim has always been to preserve the bike's originality and to ensure it was well maintained, rather than achieve a 'concours' appearance. New tyres (26"x2.5") were sourced from Ken Cobbing some years ago and an inlet manifold specially fabricated, while the leather saddle was re-covered relatively recently. Godfrey fleetingly mentioned that the ABC was once 'temporarily owned by his mechanic/restorer' for a few months' time while some work was carried out. The machine is offered with a V5C Registration document and an old-style logbook.

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

  • The frame number is 1469.
Contacts
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
1921 ABC 398cc Frame no. 1472 Engine no. 1472
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