Thursday, April 29, 2010


Manuel from Cometa Restauracions sent in these photos with a query: 'Is this a Matchless?  Did they ever use a Blackburne engine?'

A wolf in sheep's clothing...clearly the saddle tank, which looks bloated over that delicate chassis, is a later addition, meant to modernize an obsolete (by the 1940s)  but very sporty Vintage machine, with legs, so to speak.  The front brake (Enfield), gearbox (Sturmey-Archer), carburetor (Amac), and engine (Blackburne) all appear to have left the factory together.

Blackburne-engined sports bikes are rare and desirable as the engines are beautifully engineered and gave terrific performance in their day, doing well in the TT and at Brooklands.  I'm waiting for the motor and frame numbers, which will prove definitively if the engine is a racer, and the chassis is what it appears to be.

But I leave it open to you to suggest...what is the make of this mystery machine?


Eugene D. said...

OK Supreme?

Mar said...

Looks more than a little like a Henley frame, but I'd need to see under the tank to be sure.

marticelli said...

As Blackburne and OEC Marque Specialist in the VMCC, I would say this looks like either a special constructed using a Blackburne 350cc engine from the 20s using 30s cycleparts, or it may possibly be a late 20s machine made by one of the many small makers in France or Italy who used Blackurne engines and other English components to make machines. I owned a New Henley and am familiar with the various frames they used but I don't believe this is one. It is a nice bike however whicj deserves to be recommissioned and used, not 'restored' IMHO

Martin Shelley
VMCC Blackburne and OEC M/S

Anonymous said...

I have a blackburne tomtit aero engine in a chater lea cyclecar, the head and barrels look very similar

I am also currently building a recreation of the jappic cyclecar

Adrian ward