British Motorcycles

Whippet Scooters

W. G. C. Hayward and Co of Twickenham

  • Whippet was a scooter produced from 1920 to 1921. This was a neat machine fitted with a 150cc ohv two-stroke engine, magneto ignition and drip-feed lubrication. Chains took a single-speed drive through a counter-shaft and then to the rear wheel, both wheels having 18-inch tyres. Multiple steel tubes formed the frame, with a flat foot platform, simple bicycle saddle above the engine, and fuel tank cylinder behind. The machine came in three forms, including a sports version with racing saddle and wide handlebars. The collapse that followed the post-Great War boom took this make with it.

An fine example of the Whippet is in the collection of the Sammy Miller Museum.

Whippet 1919 Scooter

The Whippet scooter is of the "sit-down-to-ride " variety. The 1 1/2 h.p. overhead valve engine is normally protected by a wire guard.

OHV Cylinder Head

Cylinder head and overhead valves of the Whippet 1 1/2 h.p. engine.

Piston and Conrod

The piston and connecting-rod. The former is of alummium with two cast iron rings, and has a recessed trap. Its unconventional shape is due to its being cut away to clear the crankshaft bob-weights


A Novel Machine, the Purchase of which includes a Free Insurance Policy.

MANY have been the designs of motor scooters since the first idea of elaborating a foot-propelled machine set the ball . rolling. A considerable amount of controversy has also arisen with regard to the most suitable position for the power unit, and some designs have suffered through the weights and stresses being unsuitably distributed. A sound method of construction, however, has been adopted by W. G. C. Hayward and Co., Ltd., Beaufort Works, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, who have based the design of the Whippet scooter on motor cycle principles.

Features of Design.

The foremost of the many features incorporated in the design is the 1 1/2 h.p. four-stroke engine, which is mounted in front of the rear wheel, and protected by a collapsible wire cowl. An aluminium -cylinder, machined all over, is shrunk, on to a steel liner, and mechanically operated overhead valves are housed in the cast iron detachable combustion head, which is securely held in position .by four long bolts. A patented exhaust lift or half compression device is incorporated, which consists of a shaft sliding within the cam wheel bush, and provided with a small cam which can be removed beneath the exhaust valve rocker. A steel crankshaft of orthodox pattern is employed. An unusually long phosphor bronze bush, however, is used on the external flywheel side of the crank case, and an aluminium piston, Slaving two cast iron rings, is fitted. Lubrication by splash feed has been found satisfactory, the oil being fed by a hand pcmip from the tank, which has a capacity for 250 miles. The large portion of the tank holds 1 1/4 gallon of petrol, which passes through a filter to the standard pattern Amac carburetter.

All-chain transmission conveys the drive to the rear wheel, the countershaft being situated in rear of the tubular saddle member. The position of the magneto is somewhat unusual, it being mounted practically out of sight, on_the near side of the countershaft, from which it is driven. The large chain sprocket on the off side of the countershaft incorporate a shock absorbing device, and the gear ratio at piesent employed gives a reduction of 9 1/2 to 1.

Internal Expanding Brakes.

The chassis is constructed of twin steel tubes throughout, and domed front and rear mudguards are provided. Internal expanding brakes are employed, that fitted to the front wheel being operated by a Bowden lever on the wide handle-bars, whilst the rear is foot-operated. The silencer, which is of special construction, consists, broadly, of a restricted venturi tube, with cooling rings cast about its circumference.

During the searching tests to which it has been subjected, the Whippet is said to have exceeded 25 m.p.h., and has carried three persons up a gradient of approximately 1 in 6. The price of forty-seven guineas includes a free insurance policy for the period of one year.

The Motor Cycle October 23rd, 1919.

N.B. No relation to Spagthorpe's Whippet, nor to the Whippet of 1903.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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