The Classic Motorcycle

Rudge hauling caravan

- The Dave McMahon Rudge outfit and caravan ensemble.

After reading the YWA feature Sidecar Caravans (TCM, May 2022, page 84) which included a period photograph of a Rudge caravan, lifetime Rudge man and president of the Rudge Enthusiast­s’ Club Dave McMahon sent me a superb package of material regarding the Coventry maker’s caravan designed for towing by a 499cc Rudge outfit.

The best part of 40 years ago, Dave rebuilt a 1927 Rudge TT Replica with sidecar and accompanyi­ng Rudge caravan. During the mid-1980s, I’d arrived at Stanford Hall, Leicesters­hire with my OEC for the Annual Taverners Section, VMCC Founders Day Rally, to hear a loud exhaust bark, as Dave powered over the grass to stop near the parade ring. After chatting to mates, I watched in near amazement as he opened the caravan’s back door to wheel out his 1911 Rudge. One could only think of one word – style – to sum up this scene.

At the time I knew of (rather than knew) Dave, but we have since become friends and have ridden in a group with his son John at the annual Banbury Run.

The caravan is no longer towed by the TT Replica outfit as motorcycle insurers were less than impressed by it. The fact that such an outfit starred in a company publicity film in 1928 didn’t help the insurance situation.

As space is limited this month, we’ll dip into Dave’s envelope of Rudge caravan literature including the Rudge ‘Book of the Road’ advice on siting and staking out the caravan on the campsite, another day.

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