Today in Motorcycle History

Whippet Scooters

W. G. C. Hayward and Co of Beaufort Works, Twickenham.

  • Whippet was a scooter produced from 1920 to 1921. This was a neat machine fitted with a 150cc ohv four-stroke engine, magneto ignition and drip-feed lubrication. Chains took a single-speed drive through a counter-shaft and then to the rear wheel, both wheels having 18-inch tyres. Multiple steel tubes formed the frame, with a flat foot platform, simple bicycle saddle above the engine, and fuel tank cylinder behind. The machine came in three forms, including a sports version with racing saddle and wide handlebars. The collapse that followed the post-Great War boom took this make with it.

A fine example of the Whippet is in the collection of the Sammy Miller Museum.

Argson Engineering Co also had their address at Beaufort Works, Twickenham.

Whippet 1919 Scooter

The Whippet scooter is of the "sit-down-to-ride " variety. The 1½ h.p. overhead valve engine is normally protected by a wire guard.

OHV Cylinder Head

Cylinder head and overhead valves of the Whippet 1½ h.p. engine.

Piston and Conrod

The piston and connecting-rod. The former is of alummium with two cast iron rings, and has a recessed trap. Its unconventional shape is due to its being cut away to clear the crankshaft bob-weights


A Novel Machine, the Purchase of which includes a Free Insurance Policy.

MANY have been the designs of motor scooters since the first idea of elaborating a foot-propelled machine set the ball . rolling. A considerable amount of controversy has also arisen with regard to the most suitable position for the power unit, and some designs have suffered through the weights and stresses being unsuitably distributed. A sound method of construction, however, has been adopted by W. G. C. Hayward and Co., Ltd., Beaufort Works, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, who have based the design of the Whippet scooter on motor cycle principles.

Features of Design.

The foremost of the many features incorporated in the design is the 1½ h.p. four-stroke engine, which is mounted in front of the rear wheel, and protected by a collapsible wire cowl. An aluminium -cylinder, machined all over, is shrunk, on to a steel liner, and mechanically operated overhead valves are housed in the cast iron detachable combustion head, which is securely held in position .by four long bolts. A patented exhaust lift or half compression device is incorporated, which consists of a shaft sliding within the cam wheel bush, and provided with a small cam which can be removed beneath the exhaust valve rocker. A steel crankshaft of orthodox pattern is employed. An unusually long phosphor bronze bush, however, is used on the external flywheel side of the crank case, and an aluminium piston, Slaving two cast iron rings, is fitted. Lubrication by splash feed has been found satisfactory, the oil being fed by a hand pcmip from the tank, which has a capacity for 250 miles. The large portion of the tank holds 1¼ gallon of petrol, which passes through a filter to the standard pattern Amac carburetter.

All-chain transmission conveys the drive to the rear wheel, the countershaft being situated in rear of the tubular saddle member. The position of the magneto is somewhat unusual, it being mounted practically out of sight, on_the near side of the countershaft, from which it is driven. The large chain sprocket on the off side of the countershaft incorporate a shock absorbing device, and the gear ratio at piesent employed gives a reduction of 9½ to 1.

Internal Expanding Brakes.

The chassis is constructed of twin steel tubes throughout, and domed front and rear mudguards are provided. Internal expanding brakes are employed, that fitted to the front wheel being operated by a Bowden lever on the wide handle-bars, whilst the rear is foot-operated. The silencer, which is of special construction, consists, broadly, of a restricted venturi tube, with cooling rings cast about its circumference.

During the searching tests to which it has been subjected, the Whippet is said to have exceeded 25 m.p.h., and has carried three persons up a gradient of approximately 1 in 6. The price of forty-seven guineas includes a free insurance policy for the period of one year.

The Motor Cycle October 23rd, 1919.

Whippet Scooter 1920

The latest model Whippet scooter, to which several detail improvements have been made.

Whippet Scooter, Vici Carburettor 1920

The Vici carburetter fitted to the Whippet scooter. Inset shows the main jet.

Whippet Scooter Modifications.

Detail Alterations only to a Remarkably Efficient 150c.c. Overhead Valve Four-stroke.

CONSIDERABLE detail improvement has been incorporated in the latest model Whippet scooter, the novel design of which, it will be remembered, attracted much interest at the Motor Cycle Show last year.

The aluminium cylinder with detachable head and steel liner, the possibilities of which were, at first, criticised, have been retained. The aluminium piston, however, will be substituted at a later date, by a cast iron one. The existing piston has proved quite satisfactory in the hands of those who understand engines, but despite 7/1,000th of an inch clearance, bad handling and the lack of care exercised by the average purchaser have resulted in a few cases of seized engines.

In place of the decompressor originally fitted, a small cam, engaging beneath the exhaust rocker arm, provides a simple exhaust valve lifting mechanism.

A French Carburetter.

A new carburetter, the Vici, a French design, is now fitted, and is, the makers state, well suited for small engines of this type. As may be seen from the illustration, it is of the horizontal pattern, and is provided with a neat throttle adjustment. The main jet disposed beneath the mixing chamber is adjacent to the float chamber.

A small pilot jet, located between the main jet and the float chamber, is screwed in the top of the casting, and is fed from the channel between the float chamber and the main jet.

The air intake is protected by a circular plate held away from the casting by three distance pieces, through which the retaining pieces are placed. The two screws located in the jet chamber are merely to facilitate manufacture. The lower one, however, may be used for clearing the passage from the float chamber to the base of the main jet.

On our visit to the factory at Twickenham, I've noticed a special model scooter used by the designer, Mr. Hayward, for experimental purposes, and during our brief run on this machine we were surprised at the power that was developed by so small an engine (150 c.c.)

The makers are Messrs. W. G. C. Hayward and Co., Ltd., Beaufort Works, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, Middlesex.

The Motor Cycle November 4th, 1920. Page 537

Olympia Show 1920

Whippet Miniature Motor Cycle. (Stand 26a.)

  • l½ h.p.: 56x61 mm. (150 c.c); single-cylinder four-stroke; overhead valves; drip feed lubrication; Vici single-lever carburetter; C.A.V. chain-driven magneto; single-speed gear; chain drive; Wood-Milne 18x2in. tyres. Price £58 10s.

W. G. Hayward and Co., Ltd., Twickenham.

Three distinct models are shown on this stand, which differ only in minor details. In every case the motive power is the same; the interesting little Whippet engine is fitted with an aluminium cylinder and a steel liner. The cylinder head is of cast iron, and the valves of the overhead pattern. The Whippet has emerged from the scooter into a miniature motor bicycle, and is now fitted with 18in. wheels. It is thoroughly up-to-date and has a scientifically designed single lever carburetter. Of the three models exhibited the de luxe model has naturally all the latest refinements, including a dressguard, in case the machine should be ridden by a lady, an XL'All saddle, electric lighting, and a luggage carrier. The Sports model has also electric lighting, a racing saddle, and wider handle-bars.

The standard model, which is two guineas cheaper, is provided with oil lamps, a simple type of saddle, and narrower handle-bars. No carrier is fitted. The prices of all three models include a year's free insurance, and the registration fees. Messrs. W. G. Hayward, Ltd., have certainly studied the question of the miniature motor bicycle, and have turned out a thoroughly practical little mount.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

N.B. No relation to Spagthorpe's Whippet, nor to the Whippet of 1903.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

If you have further information or a query related to this page, please contact us