GRANDPA’S CHATER LEA

Real Classic - - Letters -

I won­der if you can help me iden­tify the mo­tor­cy­cle in this photo ? It was taken c1935 and is of my wife’s grand­fa­ther in New Zealand. Any help to piece to­gether some his­tory would be ap­pre­ci­ated.

Great mag­a­zine, I al­ways learn some­thing when I read it. Dave West­gate, mem­ber

The com­bined opin­ion of the RC Face­book group sug­gests it’s a Chater Lea ‘face cam’ 350, built in the late 1920s. There’s one at the Na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle Mu­seum in Birm­ing­ham, as seen here. The ohv Chater Lea was the first 350 to earn a 100mph gold star at Brook­lands in 1924, and pro­duc­tion ver­sions were sold from 1926. The en­gine was based on a pushrod Black­burne mo­tor, with a pair of ‘stacked’ con­toured plates (fac­ing each other, hence the name) up top. These ro­tated to op­er­ate the in­let and ex­haust valves. Drive was trans­ferred from the crank to the cams via the bevel gear driven shaft. Would be jolly in­ter­est­ing to learn how that par­tic­u­lar ma­chine got to New Zealand! Rowena

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