B. N. G. Spagthorpe:
Water Spaniel

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  • As I recall, there was a hunting oriented motorcycle developed by Spagthorpe for the American market in late 1968. The bike, a two-wheel drive affair, had a pair of “twingle” engines mated together to form what was called a “qwingle.” The bike, called the American Water Spaniel by Spagthorpe, was going to be marketed by a single dealer in New York as the AWS (he claimed for All Wheel System, but we know the truth).

    The original bikes, of which I believe there were 15, were sent via steamship to the dealer in New York City but, alas, before delivery the dealer, allegedly owned though channels by Max Hoffman, went into receivership and the shipment was left on the docks. Some quick thinking on the part of the sales department at Spagthorpe resulted in the bikes being immediately resold to a dealer in Cherbourg and badges would be forwarded to the dealer under separate cover to relabel the bikes as Bouvier 400s. Spagthorpe had previously had extensive plans for French importation, which had, for one reason or another, always gone awry. By putting together a very attractive pricing deal for a truly unique motorcycle, the thought was that by working into one small part of the region, they could have a slow expansion and get a good foothold throughout the region, eventually leading to a conquest of this entire area.

    A freight forwarder was contacted and the bikes were then put on the next available shipment from NYC to Cherbourg, which was, alas, the S. S. Poseidon.

    Alas, the much hoped for Norman Conquest was not to be, for the Frenchman refused to prepay half of the invoice, a good faith gesture now sought by Spagthorpe when dealing on the continent due to the previous Düsseldorf Debacle. As the bikes were already en route from New York to France, another dealer had to be found—and quickly.

    It was by pure luck and coincidence that a call was received from a hunting lodge in Artashat, Armenia.…

    We will send a picture of the vehicle just as soon as we’ve had a proper chance to raid the old R&D files.


    The Water Spaniel is not the only unseaworthy Spagthorpe. The only existing Werewolf was lost aboard the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

    Spagthorpe Home D. M. Spector
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