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Lot 405: c.1920 Martinsyde-Newman 680cc

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

The British firm of Martinsyde was founded in 1908 when Helmuth Paul Martin and George Harris Handasyde went into partnership to build aircraft. By the end of WWI Martinsyde was Britainís third largest aircraft manufacturer, occupying sites at Brooklands and Woking. Faced with a sharp downturn in demand for its products, the firm turned to motorcycle production at the warís end, having acquired the rights to an exhaust-over-inlet engine, designed by Howard Newman, and an AJS gearbox. Problems caused by unsatisfactory fame components having been overcome, Martinsyde motorcycle production got properly underway in 1919. The companyís first machines, powered by Newmanís 680cc v-twin engine, were marketed as Martinsyde-Newmans, which was abbreviated to simply Martinsyde after Newmanís departure. Smaller, single-cylinder models were added to the range and Martinsydes began to feature in competitions, achieving some successes at Brooklands and at the Scottish Six Days Trial. Sadly, a disastrous fire in 1922 destroyed the works and Martinsyde went into liquidation, its name and remaining stock being acquired by BAT. The last complete Martinsyde was sold in 1923 and today few examples of the marque survive.

This rare Martinsyde-Newman has been in the present ownership for over 40 years. The vendor acquired the machine, which was in complete but unrestored condition, from a farmer in Aberdeenshire, swapping a new socket set for it! Subsequently restored, it has formed part of its ownerís small private collection and is only offered for sale because of his advancing years. The machine is offered with old-style green continuation logbook (1970) and Swansea V5 registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
Lot Number405
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£9000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£10350
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine numberE121
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors