Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Calthorpe Motorcycle Co

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May 1913. Motorcycle 6 hp twin with sidecar.
December 1919.
August 1923
June 1924.
May 1925.
December 1929.
December 1929.
December 1929.
December 1929.
June 1930.

of Barn Street, Birmingham

1925 The Calthorpe Motor Co was wound up. The motorcycle production at Barn St seems to have been put into a new company: Calthorpe Motorcycle Co., of which the proprietors were Minstrel and Rea Cycle Co.

1925 An all-new 348cc Sports model arrived with own-designed engine, three-speed Burman gearbox, light frame and Druid forks.

1926 A Super Sports version of the 348cc machine was introduced.

1927 A 498cc ohc single of their own design appeared

1928 The company was only using its own engines, with the 348cc in its two forms. The camshaft model was then dropped.

1929 Arrival of their best known model - the Ivory Calthorpe. For this they took the 348cc ohv model, revised and modified it, added a saddle tank and finished the tank and mudguards in off-white.

1930 There was a single-model range. Following the trend of the time, they gave it an inclined cylinder and listed it as Ivory the Second, which then went on to Ivory III.

1932 By now there was the 494cc Ivory IV, and for that year only there was also 247cc two-stroke Ivory Minor.

1933 Only the 494cc model was listed, as the Major.

1934 That model was joined by a 247cc model. Following on came 348cc and competition versions and those continued throughout the decade.

1937 The firm of Pride and Clarke of London had exclusive rights to sell the marque, which had changed its colour to become Red Calthorpe. This change did not boost sales; the firm went into liquidation and was then bought by Bruce Douglas, who moved the plant to his company of that name, in Bristol.

1938 Minstrel and Rea Cycle Co went into liquidation.

1939 In May, Bruce Douglas announced a three-model range using Matchless engines. A few of these were built before the factory turned to war efforts.

1947 After WWII the Calthorpe name reappeared as Calthorpe-DMW, on a machine using a 122cc Villiers engine.

  • Note: By 1950, the above had led on to the the DMW range.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • 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
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9