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The Autumn Stafford Sale – The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show / 1928 Sunbeam 493cc Model 9 Frame no. D3042 Engine no. L2036

Aperçu du lot
1928 Sunbeam 493cc Model 9
Registration no. UA 4789 Frame no. D3042 Engine no. L2036
16 October 2022, 10:00 BST
Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground

£10,000 - £12,000

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1928 Sunbeam 493cc Model 9
Registration no. UA 4789
Frame no. D3042
Engine no. L2036

• Ridden throughout WW2 by its original owner (an RAF sergeant flight mechanic)
• Only three owners from new
• Present family ownership since 1987
• Professionally restored 1999/2000

Sunbeam had begun experimenting with overhead valves on their factory racers in the early 1920s and these duly appeared on production models in 1924. The new '500' sports roadster was known as the Model 9 - the '350' as the Model 8 - while its racing counterpart, which could top 90mph, was accordingly designated the Model 90. The overhead-valve Model 9's frame and cycle parts, which had much in common with those of Sunbeam's larger side-valve models, evolved slowly. Sunbeam missed the industry's virtually wholesale switch from flat-tank to saddle-tank frames for the 1928 season, and a saddle-tank version of the Model 9 did not appear until September of that year. Changes to the Model 9's engine were confined mainly to its top-end. The early flat-tankers featured a straight-ahead exhaust port, a peculiarity which necessitated the adoption of a bifurcated down-tube. Pushrod enclosure had arrived by 1930 to be followed a couple of years later by partial enclosure of the rocker gear.

Dating from the last year of the 'flat tank' Sunbeams, this rare Vintage-era Model 9 was ridden throughout WW2 by its original owner, Walter Stoney of Hetton, North Yorkshire. Walter served as a sergeant flight mechanic with RAF 101 Squadron and would regularly drop into Leeds Railway Station for a 'pot of tea' when riding home from Norfolk in the winter months. The late historian and author of Skipton and the Dales - Ken Ellwood from Skipton, Yorkshire - was an RAF pilot and close friend of Walter Stoney. Upon Walter's death, Ken purchased the Sunbeam in 1987 and successfully applied to have the original registration reassigned to it. In 1999/2020, Ken had the Sunbeam professionally restored to its former glory; however, he did not have a motorcycle license and was more interested in flying his Tiger Moth! His son, the current vendor, purchased the Model 9 from his father's estate in 2015. He has never ridden the Sunbeam, which was serviced and tested briefly by a local enthusiast in 2019 and last started in 2021. Walter Stoney is therefore the Sunbeam's only owner/rider. Following a period of inactivity, the machine will require re-commissioning to a greater or lesser extent before returning to the road and thus is sold strictly as viewed.

One of circa 19 Model 9 Sunbeams of its type recorded in the VMCC Register, 'UA 4789' comes with fascinating copy photographs including some showing Walter Stoney with other ground crew in front of Lancaster bombers, and a copy of the Skipton and the Dales book showing Walter in later life with his Sunbeam on page 64. The history file also contains correspondence, an old-style logbook and a current V5C document.
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