Calthorpe Motorcycles

Calthorpe 1912 Lightweight

Calthorpe-1912-Lightweight.jpg
Circa 1912 Calthorpe Lightweight Engine: 12098
Wet Weight: 54kg
Capacity: 175cc
Combined two-speed gearbox with fixed drive

George W Hands began manufacturing bicycles in Bordesley, Birmingham, in about 1890 and built his first motorcycles at Calthorpe's Barn Street premises in 1910 - one source says they were first exhibited at the Stanley Cycle Show in 1909.

This particular example was acquired by Mr
Stacey of Royal Oak in 1914. Soon after this, Mr Stacey came off second-best during an encounter with a tree and retired the machine for repair. Before this repair could take place, far more serious
events overtook the world and Mr Stacey found himself in the theatre of war; while he served his country, his brother decided to repair the machine. However, to do that, he needed the magneto to run his
welding apparatus and, as he removed it, he made a terrible job of the front fender which is still apparent. It is believed that, given his lack of success with this job, he dropped tools and presented
the dismantled machine minus the magneto, to his brother on his thankful return from the war.

Then Bill Shears acquired the machine in 1968 as Mr Stacey was entering the Masonic Old PeopleĆ­s Home. A
promise was made that Bill would reassemble the bike to ensure that it lived on. Some 43 years later, Bill has made good on the promise with the Calthorpe once again in riding order ,go to youtube /
1912 Calthorpe. With very low numbers ever produced, this incredibly rare machine is believed to be one of four left in existence. It comes with a spare motor and gearbox which are both in reasonable
order.
Image and text courtesy Webbs Auctions
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