Bonhams | 16-Oct-2016 | The Autumn Stafford Sale Important Collectors Motorcycles | Venue : Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Category : Classic Motorcycles
Lot No. : 201
Year : 1917
Engine Size : -
Registration No. : SP 1765
Chassis No. : # 134
Engine No. : # L64286
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


• Present family ownership since 1955
• Previous ownership from circa 1923 to 1955
• An older restoration
Although based in Coventry, Sparkbrook took its name from the Birmingham suburb where its progenitor – the National Arms & Ammunition Co – had been founded in 1872, diversifying later into the manufacture of bicycles. Acquired by William Hillman - founder of the eponymous car company - the firm relocated to Coventry where it began experimenting with motorcycles around 1912. The firm began with a range powered by v-twin engines of JAP manufacture, though after WWI only single-cylinder machines were made. A variety of two-stroke and four-stroke power units was specified, the lightweights all using the reliable Villiers two-stroke. Manufacture of the Sparkbrook motorcycle ceased in 1925.
An earlier restoration showing some signs of deterioration, this rare Sparkbrook twin was previously owned, from at least April 1923, by one Joseph Redhouse of London N9, as evidenced by correspondence (and receipts) on file between Mr Redhouse and the Sparkbrook factory. Dated 24th August 1955, another receipt records the machine's sale for the sum of £20 - as a motorcycle and sidecar - from Mr Redhouse to Mr Stanley Gilks (the vendor's father), proprietor of Stan Gilks Ltd, a motorcycle dealership in Ickenham, Middlesex. The machine also comes with an old-style V5 registration document and an RF60 logbook, the latter recording licensing from 1925 to 1929.
'SP 1765' has been fitted with a replacement JAP engine dating from 1917, and was previously registered as a sidecar. Noteworthy features include a Sturmey Archer gearbox, and a Lucas 'King of the Road' headlamp (detached).