Made in England 1942-1948
Excelsior built the Welbike for the British armed forces to be used by air commandos and paratroopers. Powered by a 98cc modified Villiers Junior Deluxe two-stroke engine the scooter had 12.5 inch wheels and a folding control column, and was extremely compact, having been designed to fit inside a cylinder of only 15 inches diameter. Weighing in at a mere 70 pounds, they had a range of 90 miles and could achieve 30mph.
The Welbike gained its original name from a secret SOE establishment in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, which was also responsible for the Welsub and the Welrod pistol. Developments of this cute but deadly little weapon are still in use by special forces to this day.
Brockhouse Engineering of Southport built the Welbike-inspired Corgi powered by an Excelsior Spryte 98cc engine. These were exported to the United States from 1947 to 1954 where they were sold by a department store (possibly Sears), and were also rebadged as the Indian Papoose. At this time the Indian marque was owned by Brockhouse.
One of these diminutive machines was ridden across the American continent. They were also used by the US Air Force during the Korean War for use by maintenance personnel, and were often kept aboard aircraft for use in moving around the bases.
Colour me Purple
The Corgi was reputedly so named in honour of the low-slung dogs favoured by the English monarchy. English comedian and corgi afficionado Stephen Fry - who, like Marvin, has a brain the size of a planet - has as yet failed to make the connection between the dog of docked tail and legs and the mighty motor-bicycle. Not so renowned Kiwi cartoonist Murray Ball, whose Footrot Flats character Prince Charles is frequently the butt of The Dog's pranks. The Dog is frequently featured peering over Wal Footrot's shoulder as they cavort on Wal's trusty two-stroke steed.
Corgis were also available with sidecars built by Brockhouse, KVP, Feridax and Vodac.
There is a book on the marque by Peter Miller: From Welbike to Corgi ISBN 0 9530683 07
Excerpt from a review of the book, by Paul Hornby:
After the War, Brockhouse Engineering (Southport) Ltd., in conjunction with John Dolphin, went on to develop the Welbike into the Corgi scooter, powered by an Excelsior Spryte Autocycle engine, built under licence by Brockhouse. The Corgi went into production in 1947, initially for export, being sold in North America as the Indian Papoose - Indian at that-time being part of the Brockhouse empire - and not reaching the Home market until early 1948, with some 27,050 being manufactured until the end of production in October 1954."
If you find a useful source for this information please share so that it can be added to this page: Serial Numbers
June 5th 2019
Jan Heiland writes, "The 'Spryte' engine was built by Excelsior, not Villiers, I learnt to ride on one of these, many years ago. The later Corgis had a separate 2-speed gearbox, with an exposed drive chain and sprockets right next to the fuel tap - which is why one of my fingers is now shorter than it should be...
(The error referred to has been corrected)
Tue, 31 Oct 2017
pw6035 at hotmail.com
Brockhouse Corgi 1948
I have a 1948 Mk1 Brockhouse Corgi which I have just acquired. The Magneto and the drive sprocket have been welded on, however I have managed to get them off with out causing to much damage. I am now starting to restore the engine and require a Wico-Pacy stator plate if anyone has one or knows where there is one I would be grateful (The BSA Bantam D1 also had the same stator plate).
Chelmsford, Essex United Kingdom
Wed Sep 02 2015
ersalesj at kean.edu
Looking to Sell A 1942 Corgi
Brockhouse 1942 Corgi Mini Scooter
I have a corgi mini scooter in which I am looking to sell. I do not know much about the bike and was wondering how I was find out about pricing and etc? Do you have any suggestions?
New Jersey, USA
See the page on Vintage Motorcycle Prices
Fri Jun 05 2015
elsiemare at yahoo.com
WANTED: Corgi Albion gearbox
Pre war pre 1948
Wanted - pre-war Corgi bike parts, gearbox, twistgrip and saddle with post.Catelog or spareslist
Sun Apr 26 2015
bdillon333 at icloud.com
im lookiing for a clutch friction plate and timing chain for a Indian Papoose, which is the same as a Brockhouse corgi mark II. Do you know where i can get these parts
Thanks for the help. Bob
Thu Nov 29 2012
Spare Parts - New Tires & Tubes
We are looking for new tires and tubes for our Corgi Motorcycle
Sun Jan 22 2012
corgi folding motorcycle / scooter required
corgi folding scooter
Looking for corgi folding scooter. must be complete or almost .no rust buckets please.
Tue Mar 29 2011
hi ive been given a corgi motorcycle and would like to restore it could you tell me how to find any s/n or marks which would identify what model it is and any place i could get spares
Thu Feb 10 2011
We have a Corgi collapsible motorcycle 1946
Hello, We have what we believe a 1946 or before Gorgi collapsible motorbike that father who was owned a army disposals warehouse. It is complete apart from a missing back wheel. We would like to know what to do with it.
Sat Dec 11 2010
Corgi Parachutist Motor Bike
I have a Corgi that runs with a spare motor just wondering what the value of these unique machines are at present
New Zealand See the page on Vintage Motorcycle Prices
Thu Jul 01 2010
Corgi Motorcycle Late Corgi
Hi. I am looking for a late model Corgi Motorcycle if anyone can help. Many thanks.
Tue Oct 13 2009
alan at rawlinson.co.uk
I have a Corgi, bought for me by my father in 1962 (when it cost ï¿½5). It's a pity so many are confused about the bike's origins, and that as a result so many are so wrongly painted in olive drab and given false military insignia. The Welbike was a military machine. The Corgi, except for the mundane roles during the Korean War described above, was a civilian bike. Why not celebrate the Corgi for what it really was -- a cheap and cheerful product of post-war austerity?
BTW a Corgi can be seen in contemporary and rather comic action in the 1953 film The Titfield Thunderbolt.
Sun Sep 20 2009
alborg at onvol.net
Hi, I have a corgi motorcycle Mk2 and the condensor is broken, can someone tell me what microfarad condensor can I fit? My phone number is 0035679200210.
Thanks alot for the help.
Wed Feb 25 2009
coolleenm at hotmaildot com
Minibike for sale
Excelsior Spryl 98cc Corgi
Have a Corgi for sale - open to offers - motor turns over but doesnot run. I believe it is 98cc. Pls email for more info
Mon Dec 08 2008
aeropix at chariot.net.au
any where these can be bought or plans available to build
Tue Oct 14 2008
benandjackie.ernst at xtra.co.nz
Excelsior Mark 2
General information on assembly of Corgi Machine
Fri Oct 03 2008
palmted at gmaildot com
Corgi motor scooter
Corgi parachutist scooter
Looking for a working corgi scooter, unrestored preferred
Sat Aug 30 2008
oddjob at stowe.nu
Brockhouse Corgi Mk IV WANTED
Reward paid for the best Corgi Mk IV found. Please help locate and purchase for particular collector. Thank you.
Mon Dec 31 2007
excelcior mk 2
can you help with getting spares ???
phone number 01327 876323
Mon Sep 24 2007
stevesampson1964 at hotmail.co.uk (bounced)
Corgi Motorcycle tank
My father owns a Corgi parachutists bike and is looking an original petrol tank as the one that came with it is not the correct shape. He also wants an exhaust pipe.Any ideas where he might get one from would be much appreciated.
Wed Oct 17 2007
Raymond.field at lycos.co.uk
Corgi m/cycle scooter
Have a harrington model coach I have been told the wheels are of a corgi I need 2/4 also tyres and size
Its got dunlop 4 ply 12x2 can I still get them thank you all for any help info
Fri Jun 22 2007
dwiese at telusplanet.net
serial number location
where is the sn located on the engine? i have found the sn of the frame #2645.
westlock, alberta, canada
It's a 1948 Corgi. 100 cc. If it would help, I can send a pic. British paratroopers used them.
Pics of '48 Corgi with 24 inch long level as reference to size. Tires are Dunlop 12 1/2 X 12 1/4. Fits G.I.J. rim 8 inches diameter.
Sun Jan 14 2007
dahlberg at xnet.co.nz
Excelsior Spryt MK2
I have been given a Corgi motorcycle. I believe it is a 1952 model, 98cc with 2 speed gearbox. The numbers on the motor are "Excelsior Spryt MK 2, W27041". There is also a stamp on the frame by the handlebars that says "1925 M&B. 17749".
Could you please tell me the significance of these numbers, and direct me where I could get more information to enable me to restore this to it's original condition. Many thanks. Dawn
I have attached 4 photos for you to look at. Any information you can give
will be greatly appreciated.
Sat Dec 02 2006
indian.bob at ns.sympatico.ca
Brockhouse corgi parts and info reqd
i have recently purchased a corgi with the serial # 1812. The engine is a mk1 spryte, and the wheels are spoked. Could anyone tell me what year it is? I am also looking for a petrol tank and cap, and a good set of handlebars, and any information of obtainable tires for the bike.
Thanks in advance
I do not have any pictures at this time as the bike came to me in boxes. I can tell you that the bike has spoked wheels, no lights front or back, the engine is marked Mk1 on the plate, and stamped"spryte" on the Aluminum housing. It has a number plate attached to the handlebars, and a strap welded across the front frame tubes that something was attached to, but I do not know what. The serial # on the frame is 1812.
Are there any signifying marks that would help you further?
Thanks in advance
Fri Nov 10 2006
jcfernandez04 at bellsouth.net
1940's-- 1950's Brockhouse "SPRY 1 (t)
I recently inherited a small engine after the purchase of my home that belonged to a Corgi Motorcycle. I know this for sure because the original owner, a WW2 veteran told me so. He himself brought it over.
I would like to find a buyer, I myself have no use for this. It is just the engine, and is in good shape.
Can you direct me to someone who needs one of these? I am located in Orlando, Florida.I was able to locate one individual in the UK, but the advert company is not set up to take responses outside of the UK. On the side it is stamped SPRY1, and on the other side it has a small stamp that indetifies it Brockhouse, Made in England, petrol.
Can you offer any directions on what to do with this?
John C. Fernandez
The Publications section of Bikelinks lists auctions, classifieds and magazines. I'm sure you'll find what you need there. Ed.
Tue Aug 29 2006
seaforth72 at gmaildot com
Excelsior Welbike/Brockhouse Corgi
I believe that you will find that Excelsior made the Welbike and that Brockhouse made the Corgi. The Corgi was developed from the Welbike concept but was a different vehicle and was made by a different manufacturer. I own Welbike Mark II SN 1253. I have reprints of some of the original manuals, original Corgi literature etc. Mission, BC, CANADA