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Lot 504: 1936 Sunbeam 250cc Model 14 Semi-Sports

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

Taken over by Imperial Chemical Industries in 1928 and facing tough trading condition in the Depression years immediately following the Wall Street Crash, Sunbeam drastically pruned its range, the 1931 catalogue containing just three road models plus the Model 90 racer. Nevertheless, Wolverhampton firm was able to offer one entirely new machine for the 1931 season, the Model 10. An overhead-valve ‘350’, the Model 10 did not last long and for 1933 its place was taken by the reintroduced Model 8, which had last been catalogued in 1930. Combining the Model 8’s bottom-end and 90mm-stroke crankshaft with a 59mm-bore cylinder barrel resulted in a spin-off ‘Longstroke’ 250 - the Model 14. For the 1935 season the latter was superseded by an all-new ‘high camshaft’ design, the Model 16, only to return to the range in 1936 in improved form following the 16’s disappointing failure. To reduce costs, Burman gearboxes were fitted to many models, the revamped ‘14’ included, but Sunbeam had built its reputation on superlative quality of construction and finish and was unable to drop its standards sufficiently to match its rivals for price. By this time the writing was on the wall for the Wolverhampton concern, which as far as its ICI masters were concerned was insufficiently profitable. In 1937 new owners Associated Motor Cycles took over. Production was shifted to Plumstead where the existing range, including the Model 14, continued for a couple of years before new models were phased in. Restored by John Weeden, at a cost of over £23,000 we are advised, and completed in 2006, this rare Sunbeam Model 14, one of the last to be built at the Sunbeamland factory in Wolverhampton, is presented in concours condition and offered with Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number504
Estimate£7000-£9000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1936
Condition rating
Registration number860 UXY
Mileage-
Chassis number22 543 0 418
Engine number22 542 0 418
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors