Among the unexpected at the London Show, which opened in late November, was a twin cylinder 486cc two-stroke Scott with a Laird-Menteyene machine gun fitted to its handlebars. Show visitors apart, the first many knew of the project was the publication of the accompanying John Bryan cartoon in the December 3, 1912, issue of Motor Cycling.
Weighing only 16lb (7kg) and capable of firing 220 rounds per minute, the Laird-Menteyene machine gun seemed ideal for mounting on a motorcycle but due to its magazine position and size had to be mounted high above the handlebars.
Scott and Cammell Laird hoped the War Department, which was looking at military roles for motorcycles for the expected coming war, would be impressed, but by the end of December 1912 had materialised.
Later, Scott did supply motorcycles for military roles, with an order for 300 machines delivered. History suggests 200 were outfits with armour plate shields of which the initial plan was to arm 100 with Vickers machine guns mounted on the sidecar platform, 100 without the Vickers gun, and the remaining 100 solos. At war’s end, the British forces had 411 Scotts on their books.
Where legends come to life...
Got a story for us?
Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With roots that stretch back to 1903 and a motorcycling archive without equal, The Classic MotorCycle has more to offer the true vintage motorcycle enthusiast than any other publication.
The Classic MotorCycle is published monthly, and available throughout the world in major outlets or by subscription. It is also available via Zinio digital magazines for PC, Mac or iPad / Android tablets.
• Subscribe today - www.classicmagazines.co.uk