Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Brixton Motor Works

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Brixton Motor Works of of Brixton, London

Etna was a motorcycle built at the Brixton Motor Works by Hubert Fawconer Harding for his own use.

  • 1911 Directory lists them as of 289a, Brixton Road, London SW and as motor car makers. [1]
  • It was a mighty tandem tricycle with a 1,750cc water-cooled V-twin engine, fitted at the rear between the back wheels and underneath the passenger. It had overhead inlet, side exhaust-valves, and the crankshaft extended across the frame to a detachable starting-handle.
  • There were two radiators, between the rider's knees, with a pump to keep the water flowing. Ignition was by trembler coil to start, and magneto for running. The fuel tank was positioned alongside and above the engine. By a complicated process, the gearbox had four speeds. This involved two crown wheels, two pinions and an epicyclic gearbox.
  • It was quite a bulky contraption and eventually the front forks were changed to Chater-Lea. The Etna was capable of reaching a rate of 70mph/112kmh and this was very fast considering that speed limits in those days were firstly 12mph and then 20mph. The capabilities of the braking system were always questionable.
  • The Etna is still in existence and can usually by seen in the Pioneer Run [1].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Post Office London Location Suburbs Directory, 1911.
  • 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] This is Brighton - Pioneer Veteran Motorcycle Run