Like many early motorcycle manufacturers Excelsior started life as bicycle makers. The company was founded in 1874 as Bayliss, Thomas & Co. Lower Ford Street Coventry, making bicycles under the Excelsior name. Their first, and indeed Great Britain’s first motorcycle to be offered for sale came in 1896 using a cycle frame married to a Belgian Minerva engine. In 1909 the company reformed as The Excelsior Motor Cycle Co., and they began producing motorcycles with their own 3½ hp engines. After WW1 in 1919 the business was taken over by R. Walker & Sons and all production moved to Kings Road in Tyseley, Birmingham. The new company expanded the range of motorcycles offered with machines from 98cc -1000cc using engines from manufacturers such as Blackburne, Villiers and Jap. They even produced a number of small motor cars under the Bayliss Thomas name. The Walkers were also racing enthusiasts and soon produced competition machines’, gaining much success including TT wins in 1925 and 1933.
At the time Excelsior was one of the best known names in motorcycle manufacture with models such as the Manxman, Talisman and Consort and they even produced the ‘Welbike’, a small collapsible motorcycle used by paratroopers in WW2.
The Excelsior Motor Co. continued to produce motorcycles, tricycles, scooters and outboard engines up to 1965 when manufacturing ceased and the company was bought by Brittax, a company producing car and motorcycle accessories.
This Excelsior motorcycle with Jap 300cc engine was first registered under its current registration number on 10th Feb 1926 to Mr Sydney George Oaten of Liskeard, Cornwall. It then passed to Mr William Buckingham, also from Liskeard on 24th March 1930. According to the original Buff Log Book it was last taxed in 1937 for the sum of £1, 2 shillings and sixpence!! It remained unused for 70 years when discovered by Desmond while hunting down a DB4 in Looe Cornwall! This beautiful and very rare historic motorcycle retains all its original equipment and engine and has been left in the wonderful condition that Desmond found it in. With just some gentle cleaning and sympathetic re-commissioning to retain its patina whilst at the same time being a useable machine!
- Size300 cc
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