Watsonian Sidecars

Today in Motorcycle History

Four Watsonian Sidecars
Watsonian Sidecars
Much smarter lines and more room are two of the chief features of the redesigned Stratford Sports, which is fitted with an ingenious disappearing hood. A roomy tourer with sporting lines - the Watsonian Monarch. The hood can be used half open. All fittings susceptible to rust, such as hinges, mudguard blades and mudguard stems, are now Bonderised before being enamelled.

Roomier Bodies, Improved Lines and Many Interesting New Features

    Quality jobs with attractive lines and the detail points that can make all the difference - this is the aim of Watsonian Sidecars for the post-war era. Four sidecars are available: the Stratford Sports, the Albion Saloon, the Monarch and the Maxstoke two-seater. The names are familiar to sidecar enthusiasts, but the models so improved that they can be regarded as new.

    For example, the Stratford Sports, which is designed for the fast tourist, now has slinkier lines. There is a much more graceful line from nose to chassis, and the panel running from nose to the screen is neatly belled upwards. The radius of the top panel has enabled the fitting of a glove rack over the passenger's knees, and this, with the 3in. longer cockpit now standardised, leaves ample room for a large passenger - even for one a full 6ft. in height. Also, the seat is now 19in. wide, an increase of 1 1/2in.

Disappearing Hood

Watsonian Stratford Sidecar
Showing the ample luggage space, the hinged screen, and the neat method in which the hood is folded out of sight on the Stratford model.
The screen, which is of celluloid with an aluminium framework, has the side panels swept well back and is both more efficient and, with the radius at the top of the side panels, very much smarter. the hood is of a raised-in-a-jiffy type, and when not in use cleverly concealed in an aperture just to the rear fo the seat. On being folded the hood drops into this cubby hole and rests in a little bag, where it is covered in by a flap which mates in with the body lines. When the hood is in use the cubby hole, being enclosed by the hood, can be utilised for carrying a hand-bag or small parcels. An improvement is that the hood now has a double flange so that it fixes around the side-screens instead of on only one side.

A hidden, effective rain gutter is now provided beneath the front of the dash, which is hinged on the off-side. Likewise there is a weather strip in front of the door. This latter is now 1 1/2in. wider - 15 1/2in. - and the bottom is curved, with a similar curve in the body, so there is nothing to catch the heel of the passenger on entry or egress. Throughout, a passenger of 6ft has been in mind, and with the new design there is ample headroom for such a passenger with the hood in use. Another interesting practical point is that the rear locker, to which access is gained without disturbing the passenger, has the lid hinged lower down, which means that larger articles can be accommodated and that, if desired, a dickey seat can be fitted. The price of this sidecar, using the "V.21" Watsonian chassis, is £30 15s., plus £8 4s. Purchase Tax.

Watsonian Albion saloon
A pressed-steel head is fitted to the Albion Saloon, which provides plenty of room for a 6ft. passenger.
    The Monarch and the Albion Saloon are similar except that the latter has a presssed-steel saloon head so that it is "all-weather" or an open sporting coupe. The pressed-steel head is hinged at the side and is provided with a quickly detachable hood type cover over the front portion so that there is a sunshine roof. It is of the five-light type, with the celluloid recessed and held in place with chromium fillets. Perspex front and side lights will probably be available later as an extra. Again there is a rear locker which does not involve disturbing the passenger. This model is now 19in deep and gives headroom for the six-footer mentioned earlier - actually for Mr. Ron Watson, that sidecar driver so well known to trials enthusiasts pre-war! The price, with the "V.21" chassis, is £33 10s. 6d., plus £8 15s. 10d. Purchase Tax. For the Monarch, the open model with curved screeen and hood, the figure is £30 7s. 6d., plus £3 2s. tax.
Watsonian Maxstoke Sidecar
In the new Maxstoke the rear seat is now designed for a child of 4ft. 6in. Actually two youngsters can be carried since the rear seat is 20in. wide. the body has much impoved lines and an excellent coachbuilt - hardwood framed - top.

Added length and depth are provided in the new Maxstoke two-seater saloon, or should it be three-seater? The rear seat, which is so arranged that a child 4ft. 6in. in height can be accomodated in comfort, is no less than 20in. wide, so it is possible to carry two youngsters on it side by side. The front seat is 19 1/2in. wide, and the body 23in. from the top of the sides to the bottom of the well. In the case of this sidecar too, the top panel is neatly curved upward, and this, in addition to impoving the lines greatly, had permitted the addition of that useful "glove" rack beneath the dash. Again, there is clearance for the knees of the 6ft. passenger. 

What has added considerably to the appearance of the hinged head is the adoption of a hardwood frame in place of the pre-war plywood construction. Both the side and front "lights" or windows are held in place with chromium beading fixed with screws, so it is an easy matter for the owner to fit new celluloid should one of the lights be damaged.

    The side lights are also much neater in shape and the whole top is a smart and first class job.
Other improvements are a curved base at the door for easy entry, a neater tail that has a flowing curve, a weather strip in fornt of the door and added width to the door, which is now 16in. instead of a bare 14in. Lastly the hood, instead of being in one piece, folds about a cross-member so that the sunshine roof can be open above both seats or only one, and that can be either. The price of the sidecar with "V.21" chassis is £33 2s. 6d., plus £8 16s. 8d. tax. Perspex will probably be available later as an optional extra for both front and side lights.

Bodies are finished in cellulose and have five coats. The choice at the present time is black, B.S.A. light green, Ariel "Red Hunter," Triuph amaranth red, B.S.A. light green and black, Ariel "Red Hunter" and black, black and silver and black and Triumph red.

    The large two-seater Watsonian sidecars are being redesigned and will not be available before March of next year.

    What is the "V.21" chassis? It is the Watsonian medium-weight with, as is the rule with Watsonians, four points of attachment to the machine. Four-leaf cee-springs are provided for the rear body mounting and coil springs at the front. Quickly detachable spring bars enable the body to be removed speedily for access to the machine or for cleaning purposes. The weight of the complete chassis is approximately 86lb. There is the simpler and lighter "X.21" chassis - 68 lb. - at p1 less, two heavy duty chassis with long elliptical springs and the sidecar wheel assembly sprung by means of a "Silentbloc" rubber bushing, and two "Kwikfit" detachable chassis which are a boon to those with narrow entries. Commercial sidecars, which are not subject to Purchase Tax, are also available.

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