Today in Motorcycle History

Chell Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Built in Wolverhampton, the Chell is a Villiers-powered lightweight of 98cc and 125cc, production of which began in 1939 and ended with the onset of war that same year. Those few which were built had electric lighting, a toolbox and tyre pump, and an optional Smiths speedometer. The smaller engine was a two-speed, the 125 a three.

Chell Motorcycle History

chelldianej at
Chell 1937-1939
Hi. Looking to find any info about the Chell motorcycles. Have seen the drawn bike but never found actual photos of either size model. Thanks.
Diane Chell

Sun Jul 14 2013
is it worth restoring?
chell wolverhampton 1939 villiers 125
I want to know more about this bike I bought, mostly is it worth restoring and does it have any value. I can supply pictures later but its in decent shape. thanks

Ed: It's quite a rarity so certainly from an historical perspective it's worth spending some time on it, and as there are very few around it would be considerably more valuable than one of the more common Villiers-engined machines.

ill have better pictures later. im restoring the motor right now. its going to need quite alot of work but ive taken it on as a side project so i can keep it from getting expensive but it will get the authentic restoration it deserves. i have a document claiming it to be a prototype and a wierd old title that i will surely keep instead of updating it. i will join the forum and show it off when its done. if you have any remarks as to value that would be great. so far ive only found one that sold for 120,000 usd. and i know that jay leno doesnt have one so ive got a sales target already. thanks again.


(T)he document i got with it was a personal letter to the owner from 1940 stating that the bike is a prototype and may not be represented as a production model and is sold as is. i think it was part of some sort of bill of sale. the paper is nearly dust and im trying to find a way to restore it aswell. also the features on the bike make it stand apart from the very similar famous james villers bikes. features like the rear rack having three center bars and a vmount. the seat width, the headlight, and finally the fork setup is fully stamped steel where as all the other manufacturers used slightly better setups.

One thing i really learned in my search to learn the origins and originality of this bike is that someone out there was making the parts that built this bike.... and 6 other companies bikes too. they seem to be kit bikes of sorts. i went to a museum near me who ive restored bikes for and he looked at the pictures and said that looks alot like the bike in the corner. the bike in the corner was a 1949 famous james. we compared the features and found some differences but when we compared my bike to a blown up picture of a 39 chell he couldnt find any differences except the bike in his picture didnt have any rust. the po was a very old farmer and he was a very modest man. from what i gathered he would never lie but whos to say the guy he got it from 40+ years ago didnt type up his own title and letter. either way i payed $500 for it and he only wanted $50. i will be paying him a visit with 50% of the profit if the bike pulls any money. at the time i didnt know what to pay but i did know i could display it in my shop if it wasnt worth restoring and i felt that it was worth the $500 to have some rusty artwork for my wall.

I will be sure to give you all the details of the whole restoration and sale as well as any research findings.

Fri Jul 21 2006
gage4806 at
info on motorcycle
1939 chell ?
We believe to own a 1939 Chell motorcycle with a Villa motor. It looks similar to a James motorcycle. We do have pictures available. If you could help us in figuring out what this motorcycle is it would be greatly appreciated.

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