Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)

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Lot 722
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. MB 9768 (see text) Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)

Sold for £ 23,000 (US$ 27,871) inc. premium
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection
1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination
Registration no. MB 9768 (see text)
Frame no. 780
Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
• Unusual motorcycle/car hybrid
• JAP v-twin engine
• One of only two known survivors

"The first of its kind and still miles ahead. The comforts of a car at the cost of a motorcycle combination." – Seal Motors Limited.

The SEAL (the initials stand for 'Sociable Economical And Light') was produced by Seal Motors Ltd in Hulme, Manchester. Seal's clever idea was to place the combination's controls, including the car-type steering wheel, in the sidecar, the unoccupied motorcycle being used solely to provide motor power and two of the three wheels. The chassis was an integral design rather than the separate bolted-together arrangement of the traditional motorcycle and sidecar combination, and thus a good deal more efficient, while a detachable sheet-steel fairing kept the engine and gearbox free of dirt. Early models had tiller steering and were powered by a 770cc JAP v-twin engine with belt final drive and a Sturmey Archer hub gear, while later models, such as that offered here, featured a 980cc JAP, a three-speed countershaft gearbox and chain final drive. Two-, three- and four-seater versions were made.
Capable of accommodating two adults and a couple of small children, the cosy SEAL Family model was certainly sociable and at around 5cwt was light for a four-seater vehicle. Contemporary advertising claimed that the SEAL was the cheapest family model on the road, offering fuel consumption of 50-60 miles per gallon and road tax of £4 per year. "Who would ride on a saddle exposed to all weather and road mud? No one, only those who do not know the Seal," declared its proud maker. Unfortunately, the SEAL was not a cheap buy when compared to the opposition, which included 'proper' light cars like the immensely popular Austin Seven Chummy. How many were made is not known.

The SEAL offered here is one of only two known to survive and is pictured in The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (Volume 3, page 1429). The machine is offered with an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1946); assorted correspondence; and some photocopied in-period literature. The logbook shows that the vehicle was previously fitted with a different JAP engine (the current engine dates from 1922). It should be noted that the registration 'MB 9768' has lapsed and is not recorded in the HPI database; accordingly, prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves with regard to this vehicle's registration status prior to bidding. The machine's mechanical condition is not known; accordingly, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to its condition, completeness, correctness, or otherwise prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note there is also a 126 number located on the steering head. The engine number is KTC/E 2859/*. Please click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 722: click here
Contacts
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection, 1925 SEAL 980cc Family Motorcycle Combination Frame no. 780 Engine no. KTC/E 2859 (see text)
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
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26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £20,000 up to and including £700,000;
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POST SALE COLLECTION AND SHIPPING INFORMATION

Cycling, Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia (Lots 201 to 551)
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App