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British Motorcycles

Hanstock Enginering

HE motorcycles were produced around 1935 by Frederick Hanstock who used the initials of his firm, Hanstock Engineering, of Maltby, near Rotherham in Yorkshire.

Hanstock formed the company after selling his Carlton Cycles firm around 1939*.

He built frames to carry a range of Villiers two-stroke engines. The machines were not listed in major catalogues so most must have been sold locally. At least two went to Maltby residents.

Hanstock built an auto cycle using an 80cc two stroke engine built by Levis to Hanstock's design from 1938 until 1940 when the factory was bombed. This was the HEC Power Cycle. The address given when first presented at Earl's Court in late 1938 was King's Cross, London.

Levis ceased production after the onset of WWII, and Hanstock took over the Levis concern at Stechford after Mr Hitler's 1000 year reich fizzled somewhat earlier than planned. Hanstock built his 80cc engines at the Levis factory until at least 1951, possibly 1955. The Swedish Apollo used a small number of these in 1951.

  • By an odd coincidence, my morning mail recently included a nostalgic inquiry from an old Levis fan, plus a letter from W S Banner, one of the brains behind the pre-war Levis marque. Banner tells me that at the moment the Levis concern does not see its way to the costly re-tooling implied in a return to the full motor cycle market. Levis is, however, exporting a fair number of 80cc two-stroke engines to Continental assemblers. Under the trade name of the HEC Power Cycle that unit enjoyed a nice vogue under the slogan of the "Farthing Per Mile" autocycle. The firm is also marketing air compressors, and a small two-stroke unit for agricultural purposes, but regard their association with complete motor cycles as a thing of the past.
    ~ Ixion's Occasional Comments in The Motor Cycle, 5 April 1951.

The firm also built automobile workshop jacks.

Notes:
1. Sources differ widely on the sequence of events, with an article in the Sunbeam MCC newsletter saying that Hanstock Engineering was "restarted" in 1939.
2. Hanstock was also known as H.E.C. There was a motorcycle of this name built by the Hewins Engineeering Company of Taunton, Somerset, in 1923-24 - this firm appears to have been mistakenly associated with Levis.

Sources: Graces Guide, sunbeam-mcc.co.uk, The Moped Archive. Also, http://www.icenicam.org.uk/articles/art0016.html is a very informative page.



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