1921 ABC 398cc TT
From the The Automobile Magazine 'Oily Rag' Reserve Collection; advanced design by Granville Bradshaw; built by Sopwith Aircraft Company; 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, JLE 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.
Dating from 1921, this ABC was acquired for the Oily Rag Collection in March 2007. During the current ownership it has been sympathetically rebuilt with invoices showing various new parts including: piston rings; brass rear trailing arm bushes; headstock bearings; fork bushes; control cables; long reach spark plugs and two new tyres. In addition, the wheels have been rebuilt with new rims and spokes.
It comes with a good amount of technical literature relating to ABC but there is no V5C and the registration number currently on the bike does not seem to be linked to this machine on HPI/Experian.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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