Engine Number:Correct. Frame Number: Correct
$2,000 - $3,000
Provenance: From the ‘Going When Last Ridden’ Barry Pointon Collection
As a post-war design, the LE (Little Engine) was nothing but unconventional. The ‘frame’ was a pressed steel box, which offered the same advantages that had been seen in the car industry of quick, cheap and strong construction – albeit with the disadvantages that it was costly to tool up and difficult to change design. The telescopic forks and the rear swinging-arm suspension were state-of-the art designs, with shock absorber units that could be moved in curved upper mounting slots to change the spring rate and damping – a Velocette patent. Cleanliness and convenience were important features of the design, which was intended to appeal to people who would not consider a conventional motorcycle. Voluminous mudguards, built-in leg shields and footboards looked after the clean lines, while convenience included built-in luggage capacity, a hand starter lever (matched by a hand gear change on the early models) and shaft drive housed in one leg of the swinging arm. Use by the UK police force led to the nickname ‘Noddy’ bike, supposedly as the result of a directive that police patrolmen meeting a superior officer should nod rather than salute; saluting would have meant taking a hand off the handlebars!
Auction March 2013
Image and text courtesy Webbs Auction House NZ
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