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Pioneer in Telephony, Aviation and Motorcycling
Moteurs AderGuzzi's Grandpa A shaft-drive transverse V-twin from 1904, another deft touch from Clement Ader.
W. Montgomery and Co of Bury St Edmunds and then of Coventry produced motorcycles from 1905 to 1940.
They were built in Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk until 1911. Manufacture then moved to Coventry.
1905 Having previously been makers of sidecars, the company produced a motorcycle. It had a 5hp V-twin engine and a wicker-work sidecar body that could allegedly be detached in two minutes. Connection to the machine was flexible on some models, thus allowing them to bank for corners. One advertisement showed a sidecar fitted to each side of a motorcycle.
For some years they concentrated on their sidecars and listed machines to suit them.
1910 Stanley Show Report
Montgomery and Co.
45 Queen's Road, Coventry. Stand No. 47.
This firm, which was the first to introduce the flexible side-car; have
no fewer than six different models for next season, each varying in
price, from £8 to £14 10s. For some seasons past the "Montgomery" system
of attachment has been well-known, and it has proved a great success.
Now its new patent system of springing, designed to absorb all shocks
likely to reach the passenger, will demand attention, whilst the special
attachments which give facilities for perfect alignment is a great
point. A further feature is the adjustable wheel, which permits the side
wheel to run perfectly parallel with the driving wheel of the machine.
The result is naturally for more easy steering. Agents for
motor-bicycles of sufficient horse power for side-cars will do well to
communicate with the Montgomery Co.
1911 The company moved to Coventry and remained there for the duration of production. Most machines were either bought in or constructed from bought-in components fitted in the firm's frame.
1913 Late that year the company introduced a motorcycle fitted with a Coventry-Victor 689c flat-twin engine that was intended for sidecar use. Transmission was unusual as it was by direct-belt to a three-speed hub, taken from a large pulley mounted on the camshaft. The frame had duplex members around the engine and was fitted with Biflex forks.
1915 The engine size had increased to 708cc but the other features were unchanged.
Post-WWI. The company changed direction and began to build up a range of models from a 147cc two-stroke to a 996cc V-twin in various forms. They also built a proprietary front-fork that they used on their own big twins. They also sold it to other firms such as Brough Superior and Coventry Eagle. They also began to use ohv engines bought in from Anzani or JAP. Although they were well-made, the machines were always expensive.
A report on the Motor Cycle Show of 1924 reads, in part,
"The prices of all Montgomery 500 c.c. models have been reduced, the reduction, in the case of the combination, for example, being £12. The prices of the other models remain as before. All models, except the lightweight machines, have mechanical oiling, shock absorbers fitted as standard to the front forks, and large tyres. A full range, both of motor cycles and sidecars, is shown on the stand, the former ranging from the 175 c.c. lightweights to the ... Anzani-engined machines. A special feature is being made on the passenger models of the Montgomery Goulding Floating Axle, which, it is claimed, marks a new development in sidecar construction."
1925 Production was disrupted for some time when their works were seriously damaged by fire. They eventually resumed production and kept going into the next decade. Many of their models were named after breeds of dog: Greyhound; Terrier; Retriever; Bulldog, possibly an homage to the obscure Spagthorpe marque. Various engine capacities were available with sv or ohv and the company kept pace with the times.
1940 Following the outbreak of World War II, production came to a halt. They were still listed in the 1954-55 Birmingham and District Trade Directory, but there is little indication that any motorcycles were produced post-war.