Today in Motorcycle History

Cambro Motorcycles

Cambro Monocar 1920

The 2 h.p. Cambro monocar, manufactured by the Central Aircraft Co., 179, High Road Kilburn, N.W.6. It has a Johnson motor wheel engine unit (flat twin two-stroke) and 20in. wheels. The price of the vehicle is 79 guineas.

The Central Aircraft Company was formed in 1916 at Kilburn as subsidiary of woodworking firm R. Cattle Ltd.

1919 First flight of Centaur IV.

1920 At the International Aero Exhibition at Olympia it showed the 'Centaur' three-seater seaplane with a 100 hp Anzani engine.

1926 Company closed in May.

Cambro Motorcycles were produced from 1920 to 1921.

This machine came from the Central Aircraft Co of Kilburn, London, using an engine of American origins from Economic Motors of Eynsford, Kent.

At the Motorcycle Show of 1920, it was said to be the cheapest three-wheeler available. The machine was very primitive and had twenty-inch wire wheels - two at the front and one at the back. It had a skeletal frame and body with a seat for one person.

Economic Motors had been selling the engine as an auxiliary unit for pedal cycles - it was a 154cc two-stroke flat-twin Johnson mounted over the back wheel, which it drove by chain. The Central Aircraft Co had been looking to increase production after the end of the Great War, but failure to do so caused them to disappear.

A Miniature Runabout.

Quite the cheapest three-wheeler in the neighbourhood of Olympia was the Cambro, made by the Central Aircraft Company, Ltd., Kilburn. The motive power, which was formerly known as the Johnson motor wheel, and now known as the Economic motor attachment, is situated over the rear wheel. It is single geared, and is fitted with a starting arrangement consisting of a pedal connected to the free wheel on the rear spindle. By actuating this pedal the whole machine is pushed forward, and the engine is started by this means. Both front and rear portions are sprung on rubber shock absorbers, such as are used on aeroplane landing gear.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 793

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.