Today in Motorcycle History

Pashley Three-Wheelers

Pashley Logo

Pashley and Barber Ltd was established as a cycle manufacturer by William Rathbone Pashley in 1926.

Motorised Three-Wheelers were produced in Chester Street, Aston, Birmingham, from 1949 to 1959[1] by W. R. Pashley.

The firm introduced a three-wheeled commercial vehicle in late 1949. With three speeds and a 197cc Villiers engine, the rear part was based on a motorcycle and the front had twin independently sprung 8-inch wheels with an open truck body between them. It had a steering wheel and inter-connecting hydraulic drum brakes - and as it was technically a motorcycle, it was the first to have them. The whole of the rear section was enclosed by a steel bonnet on which went a pad for the driver. Four body types were listed.

During this period they also built motor tricycles for Brockhouse, owner at the time of the Indian marque.

By 1953 such vehicles had become dated and the firm turned its attention to a light three-wheeled car which did not enter production.

...'The adaptation process obviously sparked some ideas in Pashley as, after the car, the company began making small motorised vehicles. The Pashley Pelican was a rickshaw-styled transporter of goods and people. This utilised Royal Enfield or BSA motorcycle front ends. The '3cwt Light Delivery Trucks', which used a Villiers 197cc motor, had the load carrying area at the front so that the driver could keep an eye on his goods. These vehicles, along with the standard carrier cycles, proved popular abroad with exports to Denmark and Holland in Europe, and South Africa and Argentina further afield. The Canadian Police made use of the motor rickshaw to collect money from parking meters...'

Strictly speaking, we don't know if this rickshaw is our business. But it's got three wheels and it's certainly out of the ordinary.

The front is from a motor cycle, with a 350 c.c. engine, four-speed gear box and shaft drive to a car-type back axle. It has telescopic suspension at the front, leaf springs at the rear.

An entirely British project, it's intended to carry approximately a ton. It has been designed especially to suit conditions in North and South Africa and Rhodesia and it is made by W. R. Pashley of Birmingham with Royal Enfields providing the front part.

Scooter and Three Wheeler magazine, July c.1957

A post on read, "I am in the process of restoring now. A 1959 Indian/Pashley Patrol Car three wheeler. There are only eight of them known to exist in North America.

Notes: 1. Quite possibly motorcycle-based 3-wheelers were built later than 1959.

Sources: Graces Guide;; Wikipedia;

jb4647 at
Pashley 197cc
In my collection of Lucas wiring diagrams, I have one for the Pashley 197cc PV/70 Three Wheeler, Dated 1961.
Do you have any further information on this machine?
Regards, John Baines
Have updated the page with information about their relationship with Brockhouse. Ed.

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