Page 131. 1955 Excelsior Autocycle with Excelsior Spryt Engine. SOLD

1955 Excelsior Autocycle with Excelsior Spryt Engine

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This handsome autocycle is running, MOT’d and taxed. There’s a V5C reg document.

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The Excelsior was repainted some years ago, and is still in good condition.

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By 1955, when this Excelsior was manufactured, the writing was already on the wall for autocycles. Those new-fangled ‘mo-peds’ had just hit the showrooms, and old-fashioned cyclemotors and autocycles were no longer wanted by a public that had been waiting so patiently since the end of the war to buy new vehicles with modern designs. Excelsior ceased production of its renowned autocycle the following year, so this is one of the last of its breed. As you can see below, it sports Excelsior’s own engine, the Spryt, which was also fitted to the Brockhouse Corgi motorcycle.

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These days, of course, an autocycle is an iconic reminder of times long gone, a bridge between bicycles and motorcycles that became popular around the world from the early 1930’s as the cheapest form of motorized transport. Postwar autocycles were simply a hangover from those prewar days, so were obviously destined to be superseded.

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The engine covers were removed by the previous owner prior to its restoration and are still in their original condition.

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I’ve put them back onto the autocycle so you can see the bike with and without engine covers.

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The Excelsior is totally ready to jump on and use.

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SHORT VIDEO OF THE ENGINE RUNNING

OR CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO


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Compare the design of the British autocycle, which did not change since its introduction in the mid-thirties, with that of its French counterpart, the ‘BMA’ (in this case a 1928 Thomann). British autocycles were distinctive in that their crossbars were sloping to make them appeal to women as well as men. French manufacturers usually produced both a male lightweight that was essentially a smaller version of the motorcycle (as with this Thomann) and a separate women’s bike with slanting crossbar (which was also marketed as being suitable for priests).

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EXCELSIOR & AUTOBYK HISTORY

Bayliss, Thomas & Co. were established in 1874 and were well-known makers of bicycles and tricycles at the Excelsior Works in Lower Ford Street, Coventry. Excelsior was only one of several trademarks used by the company but, by the time the Autobyk was launched, the name of the company had become “The Excelsior Motor Co. Ltd. (Proprietors of Bayliss, Thomas & Co.)” and the factory was at Kings Road, Tyseley, Birmingham 11.

The Bayliss, Thomas name was still used for some exports since there were other companies in Germany and the USA which had rights to the Excelsior name.

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Above, from my collection, is a photo of an early American Excelsior. The Excelsior company in the USA had to put the name ‘American-X’ on its motor cycles exported to Britain. You can see the ‘X’ logo on the bike’s tank.

Below, to compare with the British Excelsior, is an advert for the German equivalent of the autocycle, a 1939 Excelsior Herrenrad and Damenrad, with a 98cc Fichtel & Sachs engine.

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Launched in 1937, the Excelsior Autobyk was one of the first two Villiers Junior powered autocycles, The other being the Raynal. The story is that Villiers were worried about Raynal’s selling potential so, much to Raynal’s annoyance, they ‘leaked’ the design to Excelsior to ensure sufficient sales.

Early Excelsior Autobyks were unsprung, with a short fuel tank that incorporated a separate oil tank. No engine covers were fitted but there was a round tool box between the seat tube and seat stays. Inverted handlebar levers controlled both brakes. A back-pedalling mechanism for the rear brake was introduced later. The price of an Autobyk in 1939 was 18 gns [£18.90].

In 1940, a second model of Autobyk – the de Luxe – was introduced. This had a larger fuel tank, engine covers, and a telescopic fork; production was soon halted because of the war.

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After the war, production of the Autobyk continued, now including engine covers and a pressed-steel spring fork as standard. The Autobyk was finished in black with cream panels on the tank sides and the engine covers. The price in March 1946 was £35 15s plus £9 13s 1d Purchase Tax [£35.75 + £9.65] but, because of the difficulties in obtaining raw materials in the immediate post-war period, this price could not be held and was increased to £39 10s (P.T. £10 13s 4d extra) [£39.50 + £10.67] on 17th June.

[History information with thanks to the excellent ‘Moped Archive’]

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE BIDDING

OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom

DELIVERY: is not included in this auction. Our website contains details of recommended delivery services.
United Kingdom – delivery is £70 for a 2-wheeler to most parts of the UK.
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North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan – we’ll organize shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.
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AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

FEEDBACK: I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience. But I only leave feedback when someone has taken the trouble to leave it for me.

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.
2-Stroke engines – and cyclemotors in particular – are notoriously unreliable. Basic servicing is generally required if unused for even a few weeks.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.
Unless an auction description specifically states that the vehicle is running, THE VEHICLE IS SOLD FOR RESTORATION.

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:

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Published on July 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm  Comments Off on Page 131. 1955 Excelsior Autocycle with Excelsior Spryt Engine. SOLD  
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