Page 109. 1948 Sunbeam VAP4 SOLD

1948 Sunbeam Bicycle …with something extra

(Video now added: see bottom of page)

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What’s different about the 1948 Sunbeam bicycle pictured below?

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All is revealed…

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It’s been Vapped!

I hear gasps of incredulity from browsers of this website. It’s sacrilege! Sunbeams are our aristocracy. Putting a cyclemotor engine on a Sunbeam bicycle is like the Queen having a new punk hairdo.

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But wait a minute …this actually looks quite good. And the bike is totally intact. What’s the story? (There’s always a story).

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Well, it all started when I bought a Poirier on ebay. Chatting to the seller, Tony, we discovered we were kindred spirits and we ended up doing an exchange of my Lambretta Model D for half a dozen of his bicycles. Included was this 1940’s Ladies Sunbeams in bits. You can see it below after we put it back together ready to send to Patrick in France:

And, indeed, off it went, sometime during 2007, with various other old British bikes for Pat to restore. Here’s ‘le Professeur des Cyclomoteurs’ himself, uncovering his latest consignment of cyclemotors and bicycles packed into my van.

Meanwhile, I bought the unrestored VAP4 below, and was intrigued by the label on the tank. I could see part of the address of a British agent.

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When Pat sent me scans of the VAP4 handbook, I realized the partially obscured address on the tank was the same as the British agent mentioned below – Frank Lawrence Motor Cycles of Falcon Rd, London, SW11.

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(article continued at bottom of page)

And I later found this article in ‘The Motor Cycle’ of 18th May 1950, which mentions Frank Lawrence too.

So I sent the engine and tank over to Pat for him to restore.

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Having restored the VAP4, we had to decide what to put it on.

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I always wondered what cyclemotor might fit onto a Sunbeam without damaging the bike. Neither Pat nor I had cyclemotorized a Sunbeam before.

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Pat rose to the challenge. He still had this bike in his garage, so the VAP4 now has a unique mount, this restored 1948 Ladies Sunbeam.

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Pat could not resist the urge to add a further Gallic touch to the bike, so as well as a very efficient motor, it now also sports some superb pin-striping.

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I’m totally delighted with this project. It’s a good example of how my friends and I waste most of our time and money 🙂

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SUMMARY of SUNBEAM VAP4

I spent a lot of time, effort and money buying component parts and spares, transporting them to France for restoration and bringing back the completed machine. My mechanic recently had it in for service, and I bought and fitted new chain with a narrower gauge, which works much better than the original. After all this expenditure, I won’t get my money back.

But I’ve had fun doing it and that’s what counts. My friends and I buy cyclemotors and bicycles, put them together, research them, ride them …and then sell them and move onto different ones. Hobbies are healthy (even when they veer towards obsession as ours do) and we meet lots of great folks in our travels.

This engine and bicycle has been totally restored, and is in good running order. I’ve ridden it round some country roads locally, but it’s not UK registered. To put it on the road, you’ll need to MOT it and join one of the cyclemotor clubs. They’ll provide a letter that confirms its age so DVLA can issue it with a period registration. They can also recommend a broker where you can get cheap insurance.

Though not so well-known in the UK, in its home country the VAP4 has an excellent reputation. Whereas most cyclemotors are not powerful enough to drive uphill, the VAP4 made it name doing just that – hence the advert at the top of the page where the rider of the VAP4 declares to the cyclists puffing uphill –

“These days, we don’t need to pedal!”

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To view video of the VAP4 engine running, please click below

If you don’t have the correct software on your computer to play the video,

try clicking the next link instead

http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f92/groovydubber/?action=view&current=VAP4.flv

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE BIDDING

OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom

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DELIVERY is not included in this auction.

This means that it is not my responsibility,

BUT I can put you in touch with a delivery chap and organize collection;

you liaise with them direct re delivery and pay them separately.

Great Britain – delivery is £40 for a cyclemotor to main parts of England;

extra to extremities such as Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, etc (and may take longer to arrive)

(Please email your postcode if you want to confirm price).

THIS BARGAIN PRICE DELIVERY IS ON A PART-LOAD BASIS.

(Collection when they’re in my area; delivery when in yours).

LOCAL DELIVERY FREE

If you want it fast, please organize your own collection.

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Ireland & N. Ireland – I’ll recommend some companies, but you’ll have to organize it yourself.

Europe – delivery is probably around €400 to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, etc. I can recommend two companies.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc – I’ll organize all the crating and shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.

INTERNATIONAL PURCHASERS:

You must communicate with me before the end of the auction to discuss payment and shipping options.

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AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience.

I’ve been selling obscure vintage vehicles on ebay since 2002.

Sharing similar interests, I’ve become good friends with many of my customers.

Please feel free to email or phone with any comments or questions…

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VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts

– but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.

Two-strokes invariably need basic servicing before starting them, if they’ve been left to stand for more than 3 weeks or so.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE ABOVE, PLEASE DO NOT BID.

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If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email – Buyvintage@mac.com

The Auction Catalogue is our website –

http://www.BuyVintage.co.uk

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TO RETURN TO THE MAIN PAGE

to see what’s currently being sold

PLEASE CLICK HERE – http://buyvintage.co.uk/

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Published on April 17, 2008 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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