Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,007 pages of information and 212,853 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Phelon and Moore

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1909. Exhibit at Lakeland Motor Museum.
December 1927. Panther.
December 1929. Panther.
October 1936.

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October 1936.
October 1936.
October 1936.
1950. Panther Model 100. Exhibit at National Motor Museum, Australia.
November 1956.
Im20100808Kem-Panther.jpg
1962. With Canterbury sidecar. Reg No: NMV 691.

Phelon and Moore, of Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, maker of motorcycles.

1901 Phelon had already been in business with Harry Rayner, as P and R, where they built their first motorcycle. After Rayner died in a car accident, Phelon unable to produce the machine himself, sold his first design to Humber for royalty payments.

1903 Joah Carver Phelon produced motorcycles in 1903.

1903/4 Joah Carver Phelon and Richard Moore went into partnership.

1904 The P and R engine was further developed and the all-chain drive was replaced by a simple two-speed gear system with clutches. Their first offering was a two-speed forecar but as this was not popular, the partners' attention focussed on motorcycles. The first models were typical of those times and were based on bicycles with engines. Before long the name was recognised in the field of hill climbs and trials.

1907 Only the 3.5hp model was now listed, and it was the mainstay of the company until the 1920s.

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

World War I. That model was taken on by the Air Force and used by their dispatch riders. A V-twin engine had been on the drawing board, but this was dropped with the outbreak of war.

Post War.The company continued to produce a single model.

1922 Phelon and Moore introduced a new design of motorcycle, a sports model with four speed gearbox and a 4.5hp engine. With its arrival came the Panther name that was to stay with the firm throughout its existence. After the Panther trademark came into use the catalogue boasted “A great Leap forward!”, and that was truly so.

1926 The firm were successful at the Olympia show, where they exhibited their 242cc V-twin Panthette, with a transverse engine and four-speed gearbox, designed by Granville Bradshaw of ABC fame. Sadly it failed to sell in any great quantity as it was very expensive and too advanced for the times.

1928 Exhibited at the Motor Show (for the last time??)[1]

1928 Joah Phelon died

1928-1929 Speedway and two-stroke models appeared on the market and they listed the Redwing - a big single with a tuned engine.

1931 Saw the arrival of headlights that could could function independently.

1932 The 249cc model was introduced. Although it was fitted into a conventional frame with a downtube, the engine had an inclined cylinder and the oil tank formed in the crankcase.

1933 The company forged a link with Pride and Clarke who sold large numbers of their 250cc machines.

1934 That particular model won the prestigious Maudes Trophy, and later that year 348cc Red Panther and Stroud trials models were produced.

1939 The 250cc model supplied to Pride and Clarke was given mudguards and a red-panelled tank, and sold quite cheaply. It was the subject of some derision but proved itself to be a good worker.

1940 The firm had had many plans and designs on the drawing board but these were all shelved as production turned to war contracts.

Post War to 1953. The company produced three singles and several variations including a trials version.

1956 The three singles were joined by two lightweights with Villiers engines.

1959 A scooter, known as the Princess joined the range.

1960s The arrival of the very successful Mini cars found Panther in a shrinking market.

1962 The Official Receiver was called in, although production continued.

1963 The range was cut to five models.

1964 The range was cut still further - to three models.

1965-1967 Just one single and one twin trickled out of the factory at a dwindling rate.

1968 Production ceased.

1968 Acquired by Samuel Birkett Ltd.[2]

1969 Phelon and Moore Ltd was struck off the register of companies[3]

1978 Phelon and Moore (Engineers) were bought by IMI Group along with associated company Samuel Birkett and Sons [4]

List of Models

  • The Panther Owners Club web site can be found at [1]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Nov 08, 1928
  2. Safety Systems UK Company Timeline
  3. London Gazette 27 February 1969
  4. The Times, Monday, Oct 16, 1978
  • 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
  • [3] Yesterday's Antique Motorcycles web site
  • [4] Miscellaneous A-Z Classic and Vintage Motorcycles web site
  • [5] All Motorcycles Ever Made - Worldwide
  • [6] Wikipedia
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
  • Illustrated Guide to Classic British bikes by Andrew Kemp and Micro De Cet. Published 1997. ISBN 978 1 86147 195 5