Best remembered for its curious 'duplex' form of steering gear and Claude Temple's record-breaking exploits on the mighty OEC-Temple-Anzani, the Osborn Engineering Company commenced motorcycle manufacture in 1914. The Gosport-based firm began by making motorcycles under contract to engine manufacturer Blackburne before marketing machines under its own name from 1920. OEC also made its own engines under the 'Atlanta' name but mainly relied on proprietary power units from JAP. As well as the patented duplex steering, introduced in 1927, the firm offered rear springing from 1929. An option at first, this looked like a 'plunger' arrangement but in fact used a pivoted fork. By the late 1930s, the rear springing was standard and the duplex steering optional. JAP and Matchless engines were used towards the middle of the decade, then AJS engines from early 1937 onwards.
The company's top-of-the-range sports model, this rare OEC Commodore was restored by Sammy Miler Motorcycles in 1998/1999 (invoice available), having been acquired by the vendor from a friend in 1997. Featured in The Classic Motor Cycle (July 2000 edition), 'GAE 976' was last taxed in 2002, since when it has been kept in dry storage. Previously finished in black, the machine has deteriorated somewhat since the restoration but nevertheless should require only light re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before further use. Accompanying paperwork consists of old/current V5/V5C documents and the aforementioned restoration invoice.