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Sunbeam Motorcycles

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Sunbeam Motorcycles

Sunbeam Motorcycles. John Marston, the man who started it all was born in Ludlow, Shropshire, U.K. in 1836, of a minor landowning family. In 1851 at age 15, he was sent to Wolverhampton to be apprenticed to Edward Perry as a japanware manufacturer. At the age of 23 he left and set up his own japanning business, John Marston Ltd, making any and every sort of domestic article. He did so well that when Perry died in 1871, Marston took over his company and incorporated it in his own.

The company began making bicycles, and on the suggestion of his wife Ellen, Marston adopted the trademark brand "Sunbeam". Resultantly, the Paul Street works were called Sunbeamland. John Marston was a perfectionist, and this was reflected in the high build quality of the Sunbeam bicycle, which had an enclosure around the chain in which an oil bath kept the chain lubricated and clean. They were made until 1936, and to the end, remained the best bicycle money could buy.

In 1937 the Sunbeam motorcycle trademark was sold to Associated Motor Cycles Ltd ("AMC"), which continued to make Sunbeam bicycles and motorcycles until 1939. Other brandnames of motocycles owned by AMC were Matchless, AJS, Norton, James, and Francis-Barnett.

In 1943, AMC sold the Sunbeam name to BSA, and Sunbeam Cycles Ltd came into being. Three Sunbeam motorcycle models were produced from 1946 to 1956, not in the main BSA factory at Small Heath, Birmingham, but in Redditch, Worcestershire. These were followed by two scooter models from 1959-1964. The new Sunbeam motorcycles were of an entirely new design inspired by BMW German army motorcycles captured in World War II.

The unusual S models were manufactured from 1946 to 1956. There were three: the S7, S8 and S7 Deluxe.

1947 Sunbeam S7 Twin

The engine layout was the unusual feature. The engine was an inline 500 cc twin which drove a shaft drive to the rear wheel. The inline engine made this technologically feasible - opposed ("flat") twin engines on BMW motorcycles had already used shaft drives.

The original S7 was produced from 1946 to 1948 and did not sell well. In 1949, the sportier S8, with standard-sized wheels rather than the fat tyres of the S7, and BSA type front forks, was produced. The S7 design was improved and then sold as the S7 Deluxe.

The original S7 was available only in black, whereas the standard colours for the S8 were "Polychromatic Grey" or black. The S7 Deluxe came in either "Mist Green" or black. If sold abroad then BSA would supply the Sunbeam in almost any colour that BSA used.

Although the early S7 was not a good seller or mechanically very sound, it is the most sought after and commands a premium over the S7 Deluxe and the S8. 

from Wikipedia

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1/12, 1/18, 1/24, 1/43 scale Sunbeam Diecast cars models from all the top manufacturers including AutoArt, Maisto, Bauer, Bburago, Minichamps, Motor Max, GMP, Road Legends, Motor City Classics, UT Models, ERTL, Kyosho, Signature Models, Precision Miniatures, Sun Star, First Gear, Exoto,  Hotwheels, Welly, Highway 61,Greenlight, Jada Toys, Johnny Lightning, Ricko, Revell, Shelby Collectables.


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