Sunbeam Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Sunbeam 1937-1940 Models


A range of 10 models was presented by John Marston Ltd in its final year of production from Sunbeamland.

1937 Model Range

Model 250cc OHV
Model 250cc OHV Sports
Model 350cc OHV
Model 350cc OHV Sports
Model Lion, 500cc SV
Model Lion, 600cc SV
Model 9, 500cc OHV
Model 500cc OHV Light Solo
Model 500cc OHV Light Solo Sports
Model 9, 600cc OHV


Sunbeam's new owners, Associated Motor Cycles of London, listed all 10 models produced the previous year at Sunbeamland. There were new designations for models, with an 'A' prefix denoting the year. 'B' and 'C' prefixes were to follow.

1938 Model Range
Model A23 (250cc OHV Model)
Model A23s (250cc OHV Sports Model)
Model A24 (350cc OHV Model 8)
Model A24s (350cc OHV Model 8 Sports)
Model A25 (500cc OHV Model 9 Sports / Light Solo)
Model A26 (500cc OHV Model 9 Sports / Light Solo Sports)
Model A27 (500cc OHV Model 9)
Model A28 (600cc OHV Model 9 / Model 9A)
Model A29 (500cc Side-valve Lion)
Model A30 (600cc Side-valve Lion)

1939 Model Range

B23 (246cc OHV)
B24 (347cc OHV)
B25 (498cc OHV)
B28 (598cc OHV)
B29 Lion (492cc side-valve)
B30 Lion (598cc side-valve)


1940 was the last year that Sunbeams were produced by AMC, following their take-over of Wolverhampton's John Marston Ltd in 1937. AMC's wartime production concentrated on other models in the Matchless range, and in 1943 the Sunbeam name itself was sold to BSA. 1940 marks the end of the lineage of the John Marston motor cycle that first appeared in 1912.

Ten models are advertised for the year. Amongst them is a single side-valve machine - the 598cc Lion, the 492cc model having been dropped. Also dropped were the 246cc over-head valve sports model and the larger capacity competition machines.

The over-head valve engines are the AMC-designed 'high camshaft' type with large timing chest. The over-head valve machines include a 246cc model C23; 347cc machines in both standard (model C24) and sports (model C24S) guise; 498cc machines in standard (model C25) and sports (model C25S) guise; and a 598cc Model C28.

Three over-head valve machines were available with sprung rear frames: model CH24 (347cc), model CH25 (498cc) and model CH28 (598cc).

1940 Model Range

C30 - 598cc Lion 'Longstroke'
C23 - 246cc Standard Model
C24 - 347cc Standard Model
C24S - 347cc Sports Model
C25 - 498cc Standard Model
C25S - 498cc Sports Model
C28 - 598cc Standard Model
CH24 - 347cc Standard Model (spring frame)
CH25 - 498cc Standard Model (spring frame)
CH28 - 598cc Standard Model (spring frame)