Bonhams : 1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar Frame no. 103 Engine no. 10377
1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar Frame no. 103 Engine no. 10377

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Lot 463
1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar
Registration no. XK 5198 Frame no. 103 Engine no. 10377

Sold for £ 26,450 (US$ 33,688) inc. premium
1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar
Registration no. XK 5198
Frame no. 103
Engine no. 10377
• Premier British make
• An older restoration
• Eligible for the VMCC's Banbury Run

Founded in London during the closing years of the 19th Century, Chater-Lea turned to the manufacture of lugs and fittings for motorcycle frames around 1900. Incorporated that same year as the Chater-Lea Manufacturing Company Limited, the firm was soon supplying its high-quality products to the greater part of the emerging British motorcycle industry. The manufacture of components soon led to the supply of entire frames and, in 1903, the firm offered its first complete motorcycle.

Prior to WWI, Chater-Lea motorcycles accommodated a bewildering range of engines from more than a dozen different suppliers before the firm began offering its own, alongside those of Blackburne and Villiers, in the mid-1920s. Earlier in the decade the firm offered two Blackburne-engined models: a 350cc overhead-valve sports roadster and a 545cc sidevalve-engined 'sidecar tug' alongside the long-established 8hp 'Big Twin'. Following the record-breaking successes of Dougal Marchant's Blackburne-based overhead-camshaft Chater-Lea at Brooklands, the company introduced its own design in 1925. This was A C Woodman's famous 'face-cam' engine that used two contoured plates at the top of a vertical, gear-driven shaft to operate the rocker arms. Chater-Lea motorcycle production was scaled down from 1930 and finally ceased in 1936 after a total of around 5,000 machines had been built.

This Chater-Lea combination's history can be traced back as far as 1957 when it was owned by one Frederick Joseph Regis of East Ham, London E6, who was followed by Robert J Spicely of Coulsdon, Surrey and then Stan Gilks. All three are listed in the accompanying old-style buff logbook, and there is plentiful correspondence – much of it from the Chater-Lea factory - on file together with a selection of before/after restoration photographs and an old-style V5.

'XK 5198' appears to be an earlier restoration still in good cosmetic condition, although its mechanical condition is not known. The make of the sidecar is unknown, but it appears of sound construction and the upholstery and paintwork are very good.

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 engine number is 1037.
Contacts
1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar Frame no. 103 Engine no. 10377
1922 Chater-Lea 8hp No.7 'Big Twin' & Sports Sidecar Frame no. 103 Engine no. 10377
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