Today in Motorcycle History

Auto Sidecar

Auto Sidecar was an auxilliary engine produced in 1914.

The company was based in Cubitt Town, London. They produced a sidecar attachment which clamped to the side of a bicycle. The vehicle was driven by a small two-stroke engine which was mounted behind the passenger accomodation adjacent to the sidecar wheel, which it drove.

It was a peculiar beastie with the appearance of a motorised rocking chair.


SINCE the Auto-Sidecar, made by the Auto-Sidecar Company, Perseverance House, Cubitt Town, E., was described in our issue of October 1st, various alterations have been made in its design. These are clearly evident in the accompanying illustrations, from which it will be seen that the sidecar frame has been very much improved and strengthened, while another important change is the fitting of a really effective mudguard of ample width and provided with a deep valance on its inner side.

Further, a body of pleasing outline has been fitted by Messrs. Purcells, 78, Charlotte Street, W. Hinged legs for the purpose of jacking up either the sidecar or pedal cycle wheel are fitted to the longitudinal members of the frame, thus acting as an efficient jack. We understand that in the near future an expanding pulley will take the place of the fixed pulley, so that some means of varying the gear will be provided, and the petrol tank will be cylindrical in shape.

Before we tried the Auto-Sidecar it did not seem possible that the diminutive little engine would develop anything like sufficient power to propel the required load at a steady speed of 12 to 15 m.p.h. However, this was the case, and it was only on fairly steep gradients that a little pedal assistance was necessary.

Practically No Vibration.

At first sight one would imagine that the sidecar passenger would feel a certain amount of vibration owing to the way in which the engine is mounted, but in actual practice all tremor caused by the engine is effectually damped by the springs and upholstery of the sidecar. It is difficult to make the sidecar lift on corners owing to the weight of the engine and low speed obtainable. Turning to the point of view of the cyclist, there are many little advantages which accrue from such a design.

Perhaps the foremost of these is the fact that special overalls can be dispensed with on good roads and in fine weather, as there is little possibility of getting oil stains on one's clothes, and both driver and passenger are seated well away from the noise. Naturally, the attachment is not intended to take the place of the more powerful sidecar combination, nor is it meant for serious touring, but rather to provide a leisurely means of getting about for the potterer in not too hilly country.

The Motor Cycle, November 5th, 1914.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.

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