Dunkley Scooters Gallery
49cc 4-Stroke OHV Fan-Cooled 2-Speed
Another very rare scooter, the Dunkley Popular was only manufactured for one year, as W.H. Dunkley ceased trading in the same year.
The DUNKLEY POPULAR
Fitting this machine with a British-made 49cc four-stroke engine was a good marketing strategy in a mainly two-stroke moped and scooter market. Another good sales ploy was the Popular’s price and advertising claim: ‘A scooter for the price of a moped.’
The styling owed a lot to the German scooterettes. Mercury Industries was associated with Dunkley; the 1956 Mercury Hermes Scooter was a copy of the German Meister Solo Roller. The Mammut was also a Meister clone.
While the convergence of mopeds and scooters – developing into the ‘Scooterette’ – was a logical progression, and Dunkley were right to produce this model, especially with a four-stroke power unit. Unfortunately for them they were not the only company to have developed a 49cc four-stroke scooterette. Because, in 1958, the Honda Cub made its debut in Japan. Life would never be the same again.
Read more about Scooterettes at the Cyclemaster Museum
Jamaica Row, Birmingham, England
The National Archives reveal ‘Tenancy agreement for shop in Jamaica Row and Upper Dean Street: W H Dunkley, perambulator manufacturer …1887‘ so we assume that is the time that the company established their business. The following is extracted from Mark Daniels’ excellent Dunkley article:
Versatility was the key to survival in Victorian times and a catalogue of 1880 illustrates their imagination: “Prams, rocking horses, see-saws, pedal tricycles, hobby-horse tricycles, mail carts, steam circuses & roundabouts with organ complete”! In 1886 they commenced production of a series of “gas cars”, which came equipped with a rubber tube for refilling off gas street lamps! Various models of motor cycles appeared around 1913, and a 3½hp Dunkley fitted with a 499cc Precision engine was entered into the 1914 Senior TT by G N Norris. It completed three laps before retiring. Despite diversions into other varied products, prams remained a constant in the core business. Appearing at the 1922 Motor Show, and powered by a 1hp Simplex engine, the Pramotor was a mind-boggling creation!