Your queries resolved with Richard Rosenthal
Girls’ day out at Brighton
Here’s another photograph for you to identify, please.
Stuart Nicholson, email.
A super image, Stuart, of a circa 1915-21 499cc P&M, built by Phelon and Moore Ltd of Cleckheaton, Yorkshire. At intervals, the advertising copy writers for modern motorcycle makers can’t resist drawing attention to their up-to-date frame construction, with engines serving as frame stress members. Fine design, but modern concept it isn’t.
Any Vincent enthusiast will point out, their post Second World War machines use their engines as the main frame section.
Designer Phillip Vincent knew his concept wasn’t new and wisely promoted differently, as more than three decades earlier the first production machines using the engine as a main stress member were unveiled in Yorkshire.
Joah Phelon and Harry Raynor were in business making tooling and dies for the wire drawing industry as Phelon and Raynor of Heaton Street, Cleckheaton.
Alongside this, Phelon became fascinated by motorcycle development, leading to him designing and building prototypes with his self-developed engines replacing the frame’s downtube as a stress member. Phelon also chose chain over belt drive.
Read more in the July 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!
Pannonia and its parent factory
Many modern encyclopaedias including yours claim the Hungarian Pannonia was post Second World War, but their parent factory started building motorcycles much earlier.
Why the discrepancy?
Keith Stebbing, email.
Literature published by the Csepel Steel and Metal Works of Budapest state they began building motorcycles in 1924, and certainly in the 1930s they manufactured and marketed a range of lightweight two-stroke engines, including 98, 123 and 146cc units, which were built into complete motorcycles at the Manfred Weiss steelworks, part of the Csepel empire.
Read more in the July 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!Enjoy more The Classic MotorCycle reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.