Out & About
Here, there & everywhere
Geoffrey Ellis writes, “When my story of the YDS1 Yamaha Liberty Ranch Model was included in OBA 26 it was at the time believed that all sales records had been destroyed and numbers built were therefore unknown. The Ranch Model was Yamaha’s first off-road motorcycle, produced specifically for Frank Johns and the Liberty Motor Company in Adelaide who had world-wide rights to it. Recently the Liberty Motors sales books surfaced and it can be now said that 67 Ranch models were manufactured in total. Whilst Ranch Models are often claimed to be from 1959, the first of the two evaluation bikes (#6220) was sold to Anna Creek Station in South Australia on 7/12/1960 and the second (#6222) on 19/12/1960. The rest were sold by Frank’s distributers Dalgety and Company Ltd (Pastoral) or Nonning Nominees (Pastoral) during 1961 and early 1962 with Liberty becoming importers for the Ranch model only. Ranch models were built off-line and were not always built in number sequence. They were distributed as follows: 10 in May 1961 with numbers starting and finishing 7475 – 7484, then 42 in September 1961 with numbers 8545 – 8663, then 12 in March 1962 with numbers 8702 – 9131. The last one (9180) is odd because it was sold 12 months later on 26/3/63 for half price and was not the brown/white colour scheme but non standard green/white. Whilst it was known that Ranch Models were sold in NSW, Qld and SA/NT their sales went as far as Carnarvon in WA.
A correction to another of my articles, the Yamaha YDS1 Clubman Racer in OBA 58, (Yamaha’s first production racer) is that in addition to the 10 Clubman Racers sold by Milledge Bros, Liberty Motors sold two with numbers being 6401 and 6402 on 29/1/61 and 17/7/61. With Australia totalling 12, it was Yamaha’s largest market for the Clubman Racer. The Yamaha 50cc step thru MF1 (Minor) in OBA30 was also a good seller with 62 being sold before the 55cc MJ2 arrived and the pressed steel framed 250 YD2 (Tourer), of which I owned one in the mid 1960s, sold 24. Frank also sold one of the early Yamaha TD1 250cc production racers (045) on 20/7/63. Of personal note to myself, the 250cc YDS2 that I own and in unmolested condition, was the first YDS2 sold in South Aust. on 19/12/62.
The Liberty Ranch 250 on show in Adelaide.