P & P Motorcycles

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P&P (Packman and Poppe) Motorcycles

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A Brief History of the Marque

Packman & Poppe, Ltd., Moor Street, Earlsdon, Coventry.

Established by Gilmour Packman and Erling Poppe, P and P motorcycles were produced from 1922 to 1930.

1922. The Silent Three model appeared, fitted with the sleeve-valve Barr and Stroud engine and enclosure panels. The frames sloped in a straight line from the headstock to the rear wheel, which had an unusual spindle.

1923. By the middle of the year they were using 293cc sv and 244cc ohv JAP engines and the machines had sporting lines. There was also the Special Eight, with a 976cc sv V-twin JAP engine. All were fitted into the Silent Three frame. They also started to used tank-top instrument panels and combined prop-cum-centre stands.

1923. A report on the 1924 Motor Cycle Show reads, in part,

The most interesting of the many models on this stand is the 8-45 h.p. overhead valve model, the specification of which includes 28 in. by 3 in. cord tyres, B.T.H. magneto, mudguards without valances, long exhaust pipes, special petrol tank, special bars, with twist grip, steering damper, and B. and D. stabilisers. The carburetter is a B. and B. sports, with two float chambers. The saddle fitted is a Terry.

The 8-30 is very similar in outline specification, but is more of a touring model. Its equipment includes electric lighting. A special eight and sidecar is being made for the coming season, with interchangeable wheels and balloon tyres. Another interesting exhibit is the two-port overhead-valve model, stripped for sports use. There is a dashboard to the tank, and a mechanical oil pump is fitted.

1925 In June, Packman died in tragic circumstances; stopping off at the office on his way to the TT, Packman was killed in an argument with a salesman. Packman and the salesman crashed into shelving which was holding a quantity of heavy silencers. The impact forced one of the silencers to come smashing down on Packman's head, killing him instantly. After a lengthy inquest, Packman's death was considered a freak industrial accident. [1]

This tragedy was compounded when later in the year the Packman & Poppe works were destroyed by fire.

1926 The firm was sold to John Wooler who resumed production. The new models had Rexine covered tanks and used engines from MAG and Blackburne. The big twin was not produced that year.

1927. The twin was revived and joined by another of 677cc with a JAP engine. The range switched to saddle tanks.

1929. They introduced an option of plunger rear-suspension to all four models and this also became available for other machines. Four road models were available with JAP and Blackburne engines. The two Blackburnes were also used for Dirt Track models.

1930. Only four models were in production. These were the 500 Silent; the 90 with ohv; the 80 with ohv JAP; and the 60 with a two-stroke engine. It was the final year.

P. & P. "Silent Three." for 1923

A serious attempt to enclose the mechanism - the P. & P. "Silent Three."

The 1922 Olympia Show.

P. & P. (146)

Silence First.

3.5 H.P. Model.

70x90.5 mm. (349 c.c); single cyl. four-stroke; sleeve valve; mechanical lubrication; B. & B. carburetter; gear-driven magneto: 3-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; chain drive; 26x2½ in. tyres. Price: Solo, £75: with sidecar, £97 10s.

Packman and Poppe, Moor Street, Coventry.

Labelled the "Silent Three," this is a machine of which every detail will repay special attention, the design being original throughout. Starting with the B. & S. sleeve valve engine as a basis, the makers put silence in the forefront of their aims. Low down in front of the engine cradle is mounted an enormous expansion box, so constructed of aluminium as to destroy "ring." From this a central pipe leads to a large welded steel silencer above the bottom bracket, the gross capacity of the system being fourteen times that of the combustion chamber.

To silence the transmission heavy 5/16 Renold chains arc enclosed in tight-fitting aluminium cases. The frame is duplex with straight members running from the cleverly designed steering head to the rear hub. The live axle runs on two double-row self-aligning bearings provided with felt washers and dust caps. Lubrication is by a Best mechanical pump, self-priming by gravity from the tank. Ingenious provision is made for fitting leg shields, side shields, and an underscreen. The saddle is hinged in front and operated on two gigantic coil springs. Altogether a most interesting machine.

Olympia Show 1922
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 834

Sources: Graces Guide, motorsportmagazine.com, The Motor Cycle

Notes. 1. Damien Kimberley, 'Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage', p.86. (Courtesy Graham Clayton)

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