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British Industrial History

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Abingdon King Dick

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Engine for motorcycles. Exhibit at National Motor Museum, Australia.
August 1923
May 1923. King Dick spanner.
August 1923. King Dick spanner.
March 1925. King Dick spanner
May 1925.
June 1930.
July 1948.
August 1948.
Oct 1949.
April 1951.
October 1951.
February 1952.
April 1952.
July 1952.
October 1953.
September 1954.
November 1954.
October 1955.
Oct 1956.
February 1959.

also known as AKD of Tyseley, Birmingham, were makers of tools and also motor engineers.


1856 The Abingdon engineering company first appeared and produced a range of tools known as the King Dick - see Abingdon Works Co

1888 February. Stanley Exhibition of Cycles in Westminster. Open link driving chain for cycles. (Abingdon Works Company|) [1]

1908 The company moved to new premises in Kings Road, Tyseley

1926 The company continued to make King Dick Spanners; it was soon known as AKD and also as Abingdon/AKD; they also supplied engines to other manufacturers.

Also made Abingdon-Knorr compressed air brakes

1932 The company continued to make tools but the production of motorcycles ceased.


1905 The company entered the motorcycles market with a machine that had the King Dick name. In those early years they traded as Abingdon-Ecco. Their machines, typical of the era, ranged from 2hp to 3.5hp, with solos and tricycles available. They began to make their own four-stroke 350cc single and 794cc V-twin engines. The company first used proprietary engines, such as Fafnir, Kerry, Minerva and MMC but later built their own singles and V-Twins.

In 1905 and 1906, it had produced the 5 hp (4 kW) AKD tricar.

1907 At around this time the company joined with the East London Rubber Co to make Kerry-Abingdon motorcycles for that firm, who bought and sold in preference to manufacturing. This arrangement continued until 1915.

1910 A neat 3.5hp model was produced, soon followed by a 6hp V-twin. Both were belt-driven and had a three-speed rear hub. There were also two large singles of 499cc and 623cc. The company made the engine itself, but later it was supplied to other firms.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

Post WWI. The same two models continued.

1922 For that year only, a 4.25hp single was produced.

1924 The range had been reduced to two singles and a twin.

1925 They changed their name to the initials of AKD. They continued their production from premises at Tyseley, Birmingham.

1925 This was the final year for the Abingdon name. One of the singles was known as the Abingdon King Dick. After that they were known as AKD and continued as such until 1932.

1926 The models were dropped but the company continued with a 174cc ohv in 1927 until 1933.

1928 After a gap of a couple of years or so the company returned to production of motorcycles with a six-model range, all using the same 172cc ohv engine driving a three-speed gearbox. The difference in models was made with fixtures and fittings and some engines had twin ports. There was also a super-sports model.

1929 A special model appeared with an ohv 148cc engine built in-unit and a three-speed gearbox. The rockers oscillated against a roller held up against a fixed bridge. Several other models arose from that one and some had a saddle tank.

1930 One model was dropped and two 248cc models were added following the same form.

1931 The model numbers were changed to astrological names, and the 148cc model that had been dropped the previous year made a comeback - this time with an inclined engine.

1931 The receiver for debenture holders of Abingdon Works Ltd advertised the business for sale as a going concern[2]

1931 Abingdon Works Ltd was liquidated, sold to Bill Mansell and re-formed as Abingdon Works 1931 Ltd.

1932 This was the last year that the company produced motorcycles and after that they focussed on producing hand tools.

1932 Production now of Cycles, Tools and general work as contracting engineers.

1945 Abingdon Works 1931 Ltd changed company name to Abingdon King Dick Ltd. Now concentrating on tools alone.

1992 Abingdon King Dick Ltd sold to Tom Smeaton.

1997 Abingdon King Dick Ltd sold to Griff Roberts, sales manager of the company.


1922-23 Produced 12 cars of 11.9 hp

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer of 24th February 1888 p162
  2. The Times (London, England), Thursday, Feb 05, 1931
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [2] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9
  • Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill. Published by Sutton Publishing 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2593-0