Bonhams | 16-Oct-2016 | The Autumn Stafford Sale Important Collectors Motorcycles | Venue : Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Category : Classic Motorcycles
Lot No. : 204
Year : 1929
Engine Size : -
Registration No. : GU 2908
Engine No. : # 350/20613
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


The first Sunbeam motorcycle - a 350cc (2¾hp) sidevalve single - left the Wolverhampton premises of John Marston Ltd, hitherto a manufacturer of finest quality enamelled goods, bicycles and - latterly - cars, in 1912. Like Marston's other products his motorcycles soon established a reputation for sound construction and exemplary finish. The marque quickly established a reputation for sporting prowess, achieving second place in the 1914 Isle of Man Senior TT and winning the 1920 race. Overhead-valve engines were introduced in the mid-1920s but early successes were achieved with sidevalve-engined machines, most notably the 492cc (3½hp) 'Longstroke', which secured a debut win at the 1921 French Grand Prix ridden by Alec Bennett. In road-going form this remarkable engine remained in production right up until WW2. Built alongside it from 1922 was a 4¼hp (599cc) model using the same 105.5mm stroke but a larger bore: the Model 7, which was intended for sidecar use.
This Model 7 was first purchased by Stan Gilks (almost certainly in his capacity as a motorcycle dealer) in August 1953, as evidenced by the old-style RF60 logbook on file. Apparently highly original and compete, the machine is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. A V5 registration document comes with it.