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Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general

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Annewiggy
Tamworth
1 of 19  Sun 17th Feb 2013 6:58pm  

Rob has kindly put some pictures in "photo mysteries" for me. Can any of you motorbike experts identify either of the 1930's motorcycles that My step-grandad is riding ?
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
NeilsYard
Coventry
2 of 19  Sun 17th Feb 2013 7:18pm  

Hi Anne - I'm more a car man but hopefully a more dedicated 'biker' will come along but I think the top photo might be a Coventry Eagle motorcycle. The 'VC' registration is certainly a Coventry registered location plate. I'll keep researching! Smile Certainly looks similar.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Steve1966
Bedworth
3 of 19  Tue 19th Feb 2013 12:42pm  

Hi, The bike VC 6135 was registered between Mar '29 and Nov '31 (Coventry). The bike EFC 433 was registered from 1937 (Oxford series). I've just asked over on the Francis Barnett forum for help as there's some very knowledgeable guys on there. Shouldn't be too long before you have an answer. Steve.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Steve1966
Bedworth
4 of 19  Tue 19th Feb 2013 6:56pm  

As I thought John Harding, the Vintage Motorcycle Club's Francis Barnett marque expert has come up with the following: EFC 433 is a circa1936/1937 Ariel, probably a 350 looking at the relationship between the pushrod tubes and the barrel finning, probably an NG 350, last year of the open valve springs, bashplated up for competition work. I can't see enough of VC 6135 to be sure, but it's a twin port 2 stroke and from the style of the silencers and rear stays, I would have my money on Velocette GTP 250cc. John H regards, Steve.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Annewiggy
Tamworth
Thread starter
5 of 19  Tue 19th Feb 2013 7:11pm  

Thanks for that, Steve and thank John Harding as well. I am pleased find out a bit more about his bikes and when they were made. I know he did some sort of racing but I don't know what sort, may have been scrambling or hill climbing. I think he came off a few times, hence the moustache which I was told he grew to cover scars on his face. I have a photo of him as a young man proudly showing off some trophies which were for motorcycling. He was a very good engineer and would have worked on the bikes himself as he did his cars later in life. I have also just found a picture of him in a Coventry book on the 1946 committee of the Freemen's Guild. Why don't we have an interest in these things when our relatives are still alive to ask! Thanks again. Regards Anne
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Steve1966
Bedworth
6 of 19  Wed 20th Feb 2013 8:26am  

Anne, I copied your reply on the FB forum and John Harding has added the following: Always glad to help Steve,having googled some pics of early Velocette GTP's I am now almost certain that is the second bike (VC), looking at the way EFC is kitted out it was probably used in both trials and scrambles, at that time the tyres would have been the same for both, usually either Dunlop Sports or Avon Gripsters, the block tread "trials universal" not being forced upon the trials fraternity until much later, to standardise the tyres used and to appease the footpath users who claimed the "knobbly" tyres were ruining footpaths/walkways, John H..
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
fidobsa
Hungary
7 of 19  Sun 1st Feb 2015 3:14pm  

I just found this thread and thus the forum when doing a Google search for Mellor Motors. In the early '80s I lived in the Paradise district of Coventry and was a regular customer at Mellors and several other motorcycle shops in Coventry. I think by then they were strictly Suzuki and MZ dealers but who knows if they still had a secret stash of Vincent bits somewhere? I don't know where the name Mellor came from as the partners were Martin Davenport and Bernard Booth, both ex sidecar outfit racers. For a few years Terry Best, one of my mates from school worked at Mellors. I started riding motorcycles in 1976 and got my first British bike, a Coventry made Francis Barnett Falcon 200cc in 1977. At that time there were several shops in Cov. selling parts for old British bikes but I dare say there are probably none left now. I bought a high compression cylinder head for the the FB Villiers engine from a bike breaker who I think operated from a big old house in Foleshill Rd. I can't remember his name now but the place was filthy and smelly, as he had dogs that were not house trained. The head was supposedly off a bike he had raced himself in his younger days, a scrambler I would guess. He was a very eccentric guy and didn't really like parting with any of his junk!
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Midland Red

8 of 19  Sun 16th Oct 2016 10:54am  

1923 Croft-Cameron Super Eight - up for auction today, expected to fetch up to £200k Oh my
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Not Local
Bedworth
9 of 19  Sun 16th Oct 2016 12:03pm  

Not exactly an instant response, but the motorcycle spares shop in Foleshill Rd referred to by Fidobsa was run by Bob Bull. It was situated in a big house on the corner of Blackwell Rd. I think that he eventually had to leave because the landlord objected to the vast weight of bike bits stored in every room and under the floorboards on the ground floor. The combination of the excessive weight and an old house in poor condition posed the very real risk of the whole lot falling down. In later years the whole property was refurbished and happily still stands today.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Slim
Another Coventry kid
10 of 19  Sun 16th Oct 2016 3:38pm  

I remember Bob Bull's "Spares and repairs". It didn't matter what second hand part you wanted for a British bike, he had it. In later years, it became Coventry Cartridge Centre, and I was told it was still his business, and that he was now running a gun shop. (Ironic that BSA and Royal Enfield made both motor bikes and guns.) He lived in Pauline Avenue, Bell Green. I remember because he was in the local paper and was in some sort of trouble; can't remember the details, whether it went to magistrates' court, or whether it was a dispute with the council or the neighbours, but it was because of something he'd done. Or perhaps hadn't done.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
NeilsYard
Coventry
11 of 19  Thu 30th May 2024 9:47am  

Fretton's have been mentioned on several threads so wasn't sure where to put this one - their old outlet on the corner of Stoney Stanton Road and Eagle Street. The building is still there but all looks a bit of a mess now tbh...........
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
20A-Manor House
Coventry
12 of 19  Thu 30th May 2024 8:53pm  

I still have the old logbook for my first moped which came from that shop, a Raleigh 'Runabout' got it in 1976 (not brand new secondhand) and used it when I worked at Bretts Stampings.
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Mick Strong
Coventry
13 of 19  Fri 31st May 2024 9:20am  

2 great words in that brochure that I have never heard before. "MOPEDIST" & "SCOOTERIST" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mick Strong

Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Slim
Another Coventry kid
14 of 19  Fri 31st May 2024 11:05am  

I've always used scooterist; I was a scooterist myself once (but my main vehicle was a proper motor bike). But mopedist?!
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general
Not Local
Bedworth
15 of 19  Fri 31st May 2024 1:45pm  

I too was a scooterist back in the 60's but I later owned proper motor cycles. The Stoney Stanton Rd branch of Frettons passed to Mellor Motors where in the 70's and after you could purchase an unfashionable but reliable MZ motorcycle which was manufactured in what was then East Germany. In the 70's I owned a couple of Raleigh mopeds and being stuck for a particular spare part I bought a complete scrap Raleigh Runabout from Bob Bull for £3. The wording of the Frettons advert shows how our language has evolved. Would you now go into a shop and ask to buy a refrigerator, a steam iron, or an electric washing machine?
Coventry Cars and Motoring - Classic Coventry Motorcycles - general

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