Rare cy­cle­car with air­craft roots

Classic Sports Car - - Lost & Found -

Be­fore the Great War, Hen­don was de­vel­oped into Bri­tain’s lead­ing air­field by Claude Gra­hame­white. He built an air­craft fac­tory, and once the war was over he de­cided to di­ver­sify and launched the Gra­hame-white cy­cle­car. A num­ber of pho­tographs sur­vive of th­ese cy­cle­cars lined up out­side the fac­tory, but no-one knows how many were built in to­tal.

Bob Jones only knows of two that sur­vive – his own, and an­other now owned by cy­cle­car and clas­sic BMW en­thu­si­ast David Wil­liams. His was found un­der a large bram­ble bush in Es­sex many years ago, and dug out by David Hodg­son. “It came with the re­mains of a body, but with­out a bon­net, engine or gear­box,” said Jones.

Dur­ing the re­build, the orig­i­nal reg­is­tra­tion num­ber, MC 6442, was re­vealed. Later the car passed to Steve Clare, who got it into full run­ning or­der. Wil­liams now takes it to cy­cle­car events such as the ‘Fes­ti­val of Slowth’ in France.

Cy­cle­cars in abun­dance line up out­side the Hen­don air­craft fac­tory. Above: the rare Gra­hame-white to­day

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