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Lot 354: BSA Beeza De Luxe 3-Wheeler

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

Birmingham Small Arms, Ltd. is best known to motorcycle collectors as the former makers of sturdy motorcycles with the quirky name representing their past connection as the makers of fire arms. B.S.A. began making motorcycles in 1909 and the company included guns and bicycles as part of their manufacturing empire. Many people are unaware that B.S.A. also ventured into the short lived manufacture of cars as early as 1907. Reemerging in 1921, the company produced their first 3-wheeled vehicle using a proprietary engine of Hotchkiss design and was a rear wheel drive. By 1929, a new version was brought to the market and was powered by B.S.A.'s own motor based on the previous Hotchkiss engine and was an air-cooled sidevalve V-twin, across the car, displacing 1021cc and fed with a Solex updraft carburetor. Being front wheel drive, a long drive shaft was eliminated as well as a chain drive if the 3-wheeler maintained its motorcycle roots. With front wheel drive, the 3-wheeler featured independent front and rear suspension. Upstaging the competing Morgan, the B.S.A. came with 3 forward speeds plus reverse, and also had the convenience of electric start. It also featured all weather protection with a collapsible top and side curtains, and a storage area in the rear. The car was a bargain at £115. Some 5200 units were manufactured in the Small Heath facility until production ended in 1936.

This 1932 B.S.A. Special Sports 3-wheeler was restored by Ted Tine's Motorsports and is offered in black with red spoke wheels. This is a unique machine and quite enjoyable on the road, and very capable of touring in a variety of terrains. It can cruise all day at 40mph, topping out at 50mph.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCar
Lot Number354
Estimate$30000-$35000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$19500
Hammer Price (inc premium)$22815
Year1932
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberSA3086
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors