Today in Motorcycle History

Ascot Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Percy Herbert Cecil Sandham established Ascot Motor Co. of London as a bicycle firm in 1899 and produced motorcycles from 1901 or 1902 to 1905 using Minerva and Antoine engines, and built sidecars into the 1930s.

  • Ascot Motor Co

    Ascot produced motorcycles from 1902 to 1905*.

    • 1901 Address was 336 Gray's Inn Road.

      1904 The firm was based in Pentonville Road, London. The machines were typical of the era - fitted with a single cam 2 ¾ hp engine usually Minerva or Antoine types, and a band brake to the front wheel. They listed a forecar as well as a solo.

      1905 Power increased to 3hp and magneto ignition was an option. Also listed was a 1hp French import, which had a belt-driven engine hung from the downtube and braced forks.

      1906 Nothing more was heard of Ascot motorcycles after 1905, but the company continued to built bicycles.

    Sandham Sidecars

    Percy Sandham established Sandham Engineering which built sidecars branded "Sandum" from at least 1919 into the 1930s, and possibly post-war. These were supplied to the AA and as many as 10,000 units are thought to have been produced.

    Their address in 1925 was 336 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1.

    The name of the sidecar business in 1931 had been changed to Sandum Manufacturing Co., of 165 Pentonville Rd., Kings Cross, London.

    For those who fancy a two-seated sidecar the Art should be of special interest. It is manufactured by the Sandham Engineering Co., Ltd., and is sold by the Art Motor Cycle and Sidecar Co., 18, Walbrook, London, E.G. The body is most roomy, is provided with a comfortable hood and screen, and in future models the former will be designed to fasten down on to the latter, thus doing away with the necessity of straps. The body is hung on threequarter-elliptical car-type springs, while the sidecar wheel is on half-elliptical springs provided with long shackles which are hinged together. Strength for the side-car axle is obtained by having this composed of three tubes instead of one single one. A load of up to forty stone may be carried.

    Olympia Show. The Motor Cycle, December 9th, 1920.

    Sources vary on dates of motorcycle manufacture. A post on gives good references indicating 1901/02 to 1905 as the most likely years of production.
    There is no relationship with the much later Ascot Pullin of Letchworth.

    Sources: Tragatsch p78, Graces Guide,, wikipedia, The Motor Cycle

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