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British Industrial History

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Johnson, Hurley and Martin

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February 1905.
September 1905.
November 1913
November 1913
November 1922.

of Alpha Motor Works, Gosford Street, Coventry and Dudley, Worcestershire.

Founded by George Johnson, Daniel Henry Hurley and James Richard Martin. All three founders had previously worked at Daimler

Makers of Alpha engines. The company was mainly involved with the production of car engines.

1901 Produced the Alpha car

They became involved in motorcycle competition when they manufactured an improved crankshaft for Villiers engines, followed by a complete bottom half. Fred Cutler who was the Managing Director at the time, then designed an engine with the induction controlled by flywheel flanges. The twin two-stroke was a 247cc engine with rotary disc valves. The discs went between the flywheels in the middle and were fed by a single carburettor.

1903 Company established

1904 February. Details of the 30-bhp four-cylinder engine.[1]

Most early business was supplying JHM engines to Calthorpe

1906-1910 Hurley cars made in Coventry[2]

1907/8 Produced the Alpha motorcycle. It had an Albion gearbox. They were firstly fitted in a DMW frame and later in an Alpha frame with Ceriani forks. Even though the machine was successful, only eight engines were built before the controlling company brought production to a halt.

1914 Motor car production ended[3]

1925 Introduced two engines for farm and industrial use. The Alpha engines were twin-cylinder (9 bhp) and four-cylinder (11 bhp) [4]

1926 Company closed and then re-opened as Alpha Engineering



Alpha motorcycles were again produced from 1956 to 1968.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Autocar 1904/02/27
  2. The Times 13 April 1996
  3. The Times, April 13, 1996
  4. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  • [1] MICMA Web Site
  • Coventry’s Motorcycle Heritage by Damien Kimberley. Published 2009. ISBN 978 0 7509 5125 9
  • 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