Montgomery Motorcycles

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Montgomery Motorcycles 1905-1940

W. Montgomery and Co of Bury St Edmunds and then of 45 Queen's Road, Coventry produced motorcycles from 1905 to 1940.

They were built in Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk until 1911. Manufacture then moved to Coventry.

1905 Having previously been makers of sidecars, the company produced a motorcycle. It had a 5hp V-twin engine and a wicker-work sidecar body that could allegedly be detached in two minutes. Connection to the machine was flexible on some models, thus allowing them to bank for corners. One advertisement showed a sidecar fitted to each side of a motorcycle.

For some years they concentrated on their sidecars and listed machines to suit them.

1910 Stanley Show Report
Montgomery and Co.
45 Queen's Road, Coventry. Stand No. 47.
This firm, which was the first to introduce the flexible side-car; have no fewer than six different models for next season, each varying in price, from £8 to £14 10s. For some seasons past the "Montgomery" system of attachment has been well-known, and it has proved a great success. Now its new patent system of springing, designed to absorb all shocks likely to reach the passenger, will demand attention, whilst the special attachments which give facilities for perfect alignment is a great point. A further feature is the adjustable wheel, which permits the side wheel to run perfectly parallel with the driving wheel of the machine. The result is naturally for more easy steering. Agents for motor-bicycles of sufficient horse power for side-cars will do well to communicate with the Montgomery Co.

1911 The company moved to Coventry and remained there for the duration of production. Most machines were either bought in or constructed from bought-in components fitted in the firm's frame.

1913 Late that year the company introduced a motorcycle fitted with a Coventry-Victor 689c flat-twin engine that was intended for sidecar use. Transmission was unusual as it was by direct-belt to a three-speed hub, taken from a large pulley mounted on the camshaft. The frame had duplex members around the engine and was fitted with Biflex forks.

1915 The engine size had increased to 708cc but the other features were unchanged.

Post-WWI. Production resumed in 1922. The company changed direction and began to build up a range of models from a 147cc two-stroke to a 996cc V-twin in various forms. They also built a proprietary front-fork that they used on their own big twins and which they sold to other firms such as Brough Superior and Coventry Eagle. During this period the began fitting OHV engines sourced from Anzani and JAP. Their motorcycles were high quality and quite expensive.

The first Sidecar TT was held in 1923 and two Montgomery outfits were entered, one piloted by W. Montgomery himself. Both had a DNF but in later years their solos did well at Brooklands and the Isle of Man, with a 4th and a 6th in the 1924 Junior TT.

A report on the Motor Cycle Show of 1924 reads, in part,

"The prices of all Montgomery 500 c.c. models have been reduced, the reduction, in the case of the combination, for example, being £12. The prices of the other models remain as before. All models, except the lightweight machines, have mechanical oiling, shock absorbers fitted as standard to the front forks, and large tyres. A full range, both of motor cycles and sidecars, is shown on the stand, the former ranging from the 175 c.c. lightweights to the ... Anzani-engined machines. A special feature is being made on the passenger models of the Montgomery Goulding Floating Axle, which, it is claimed, marks a new development in sidecar construction."

In December 1925 the Montgomery factory was destroyed by fire, and production ceased for two years. This had a knock-on effect as they had been supplying components to a number of other firms including Packman and Poppe who relied on Montgomery for their frames. As a result (P&P) folded.

Montgomery resumed production and continued into the next decade. Many of their models were named after breeds of dog: Greyhound; Terrier; Retriever; Bulldog, (not, as some wag suggested, an homage to the obscure Spagthorpe marque). Various engine capacities were available with SV or OHV engines. During these years the marque was distributed by Renno's of Islington in London.

Following the outbreak of World War II, production ceased.

N.B. Montgomery was still listed in the 1954-55 Birmingham and District Trade Directory, but there is no indication that any motorcycles were produced post-war.

Sources: Graces Guide; Bob Currie.

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