Autoglider Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Autoglider Scooters

A Brief History of the Marque

Made in England by Townsend and Co of Birmingham from 1919 to 1922, the Autoglider was part of the first scooter boom. It had a 292cc Villiers or 269cc Union two stroke mounted above the front wheel.

The platform was on small disc wheels running 16in x 2 3/4in tyres and the handlebars were carried by a long twin-tube extension, with the cylindrical fuel tank fitted between them. Later models had a seat and lower handlebars with the fuel tank set between them.

Models for 1920 were A, B, C, D and E, the a latter a "racing" machine with a claimed top speed of 50 mph. The others were listed as capable of 47 mph.

It is believed that scooters were also marketed as Townsend and TST. Around 1923 the National Manufacturing Co. purchased the remaining stock and announced that they would be fitting them with Villiers MkIV engines.

Autoglider 1919 Birmingham

An enjoyable and practical solution of the travelling problem. Speed - Walking pace to 40 miles per hour.



An enjoyable and practical solution of the travelling problem. Speed - Walking pace to 40 miles per hour.

ENGINE - 2 3/4 h.p. Autoglider Union Two-stroke.
DRIVE - Chain through stee! plate clutch.
BRAKES - Two. Band, one foot one hand.
CHASSIS - Steel tube fitted with the patented Autoglider suspension, of laminated steel springs.
WHEELS - Disc shod with Autoglider Palmer Cord tyres 16 x 2 3/8.
MUDGUARDS - The most efficient ever made.

Some performances of the unbeaten Autoglider:
Birmingham to London reliability run, 112 miles in 4 hours 48 minutes.
Silver Medal - Style Cop Hill Climb, July 19th.
1st Prize Southend Hill Climb.
Gold Medal - Sutton Bank, Sept. 8th.
Winner Luton Speed Trials, Sept: 13th.
Silver Medal - Style Cop Hill Climb Sept. 27th. The Autoglider climbed Leathley Bank, Yorkshire, Oct. 4th, with two passengers; total weight of passengers, 19 stone 11 lb.
Write for advance list to AUTOGLIDER Limited, Caxton House, Great Charles Street, BIRMINGHAM.
Price £40 nett delivered Birmingham.

The Motor Cycle Nov 20th 1919, Advertisement

Autoglider at the Olympia Show 1920

Though the "stand up" type miniature has almost disappeared, the seated variety is exhibited in various forms at the Show. The Autoglider, with parcels compartment, is the subject of our illustration.

Olympia Show 1920

Autoglider. (Stand 21.)

  • 2½ h.p.; 70x70 mm. (269 c.c.); single-cylinder two-stroke; petroil lubrication; Amac or Senspray carburetter; Villiers flywheel magneto; single-speed gear; chain drive; spring frame; Palmer 16x2 3/8 in. tyres. Price £57 15.s.

Autoglider, Ltd., Caxton House, Great Charles Street, Birmingham.

There are numerous interesting features in the Autoglider, and not the least of these is the spring frame. The frame is rectangular, and between the front and rear portions are two laminated springs in line. Each spring is anchored to a bridge in the centre of the frame, while the two ends are attached to a front member embodying the steering head arid forks, engine, tank, etc., and the rear forks respectively, thus insulating the rider from road shocks. A single plate clutch is provided, which may be controlled from the handle-bars, as is the case with one of the models. This clutch, which is particularly sweet in action, and is quite devoid of end thrust; will be placed on the market next year, and will be suitable for any single-speed motor bicycle fitted with the latest pattern Villiers engine.

Of the two principal models shown, one is not provided with a seat, but on the platform there is plenty of room for two persons. The transmission is by single chain from the engine-shaft to the front wheel sprocket. Both wheels are almost entirely enclosed; they are of pressed steel, built up in two halves, and consequently easy to clean. Of the models provided with seats, one is slightly lighter than the other, and has a specially tuned engine and a higher gear. There is a spacious locker under the seat. Two box carrier models are also exhibited. Owing to the careful mudguarding and the fact that a large splashboard is fitted at the front, the rider should have no difficulty in keeping perfectly clean. A single leg is provided on the side of each model, allowing tile machine to be propped up. There are two brakes, both of the contracting type, which act on the rear wheel.

Olympia Show. The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 724

Sources: Graces Guide, Tragatsch p81.

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