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The Marston Sunbeam Club & Register

A Selection of Sunbeam's Sporting Achievements

The following is reproduced from the Wolverhampton History website


Right from the word "Go" Sunbeam riders had many successes in large numbers of events, both at home and abroad. What follows is a list of some of their achievements in better known events:

The pre War years

In 1912 two Sunbeam machines entered, and successfully completed the A.C.U. Reliability Trial. At the end of the year, two Sunbeam machines entered the London-Exeter-London Trial and each won a gold medal. The following year Sunbeam won the Premier Solo Award in the A.C.U. Six Days Reliability Trial.

1914

Seven Sunbeam riders won gold and silver medals in the Midland Reliability Trial. The team included Tommy de la Hay, John Greenwood, Vernon Busby, Charlie Nokes, and Joe Dudley. During the same year Charlie Nokes, Moffett, G. Barnard, and Tommy de la Hay successfully completed the A.C.U. English Six Days Trial, and Nokes won a gold medal in the A.C.U. Scottish Six days Trial.

Other successes were achieved by Vernon Busby and Howard Davies who won almost every event in the Essex Motor Cycle Trials. Howard Davies went on to win the Godiva Golden Goblet in the Coventry & Warwickshire Trial. The Sunbeam team riders including George Dance were extremely successful in the Style Cop Hill Climb, winning no less than 9 gold medals.

Sunbeam riders also had successes abroad, including winning the Western Australia T.T., and the Five Days Sydney to Melbourne Trial.

All events came to an end during the war, and didn't start again until the war had ended.

After the war

Four classes in one of Birmingham Motor Cycle Club’s hill climbs at Style Cop in 1919 were won by George Dance, who attended a second meeting in October, and won 7 of the 15 classes.

1920

Sunbeam riders had many successes that year including:

The Colmore Cup Trial in which a gold medal was won on a 3½ hp. 500 c.c. Sunbeam combination.
The Paris-Nice Trial. 5 Sunbeam machines entered, and all successfully completed the trial.
The West Australian Tourist Trophy Race was won by a single-cylinder Sunbeam machine.
First place in the Midland Cup.

In the Liverpool Speed Trials, Sunbeam riders won the following events:
Flying Kilo on a 350 c.c. solo 2¾ hp. machine
Flying Kilo on a 500 c.c. solo 3½ hp. machine
Flying Kilo on a 350 c.c. Sidecar 2¾ hp. machine
Flying Kilo on a 500 c.c. Sidecar 3½ hp. machine
Standing Kilo on a 350 c.c. Solo 2¾ hp. machine
Standing Kilo on a 500 c.c. Solo 3½ hp. machine
Standing Kilo on a 350 c.c. Sidecar 2¾ hp. machine
Standing Kilo on a 500 c.c. Sidecar 3½ hp. machine
The Reliance Open Speed Challenge Cup
The Boston Cup

The London - Edinburgh Trial. Sunbeam riders won 10 gold medals.
In the Cumberland County Open Reliability Trial, a 3½ hp. Sunbeam combination won the Alan Trophy and Gold Medal. A 3½ hp. solo Sunbeam won the Cumberland County Trophy and Gold Medal, Sunbeam also won a special prize for the best performance of machines up to 500 c.c., and the Team Prize.

In the Luton Speed Trials on the July 24th, George Dance won the following:
350 c.c. Solo (Expert Class) on a 2¾ hp. Sunbeam
750 c.c. Solo (Expert Class) on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam
500 c.c. Sidecar (Expert Class) on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam
500 c.c. Sidecar (Expert Class) on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam
1,000 c.c. Sidecar (Expert Class) on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam

Tommy De La Hay on his 3½ hp. Sunbeam in a trial at Canley, May 1921.

1921

George Dance made a series of superb runs at Brooklands. In the 350 c.c. class he set a new record at 82.25 m.p.h. in the Flying Kilometre, and achieved 82.19 m.p.h. in the Flying Mile. In the 500 c.c. class he achieved 93.99 m.p.h. in the Flying Kilometre, 87.35 m.p.h. in the Flying 5 Miles, and 82.69 m.p.h. in the Standing 10 miles.

In the Motor Cycle Grand Prix. Sunbeams finished in 1st and 2nd places. Other wins included the French Grand Prix, the Italian T.T., and the Midland Cup.


An advert from November 1921.

1922


Wins by Sunbeam riders included the French Grand Prix, the Italian T.T., the Austrian Senior T.T., the Championship of Italy, 500 c.c., and the Midland Cup.

1923

Successes included the Manx Amateur Road Race, the Austrian Senior T.T., and the Midland Cup.

1924

During the year Sunbeam riders won the Hungarian Senior T.T., the Durban – Johannesburg 396 Miles Road Race, the French 24 hours Bol d’Or, the Manx Amateur Road Race, the Swiss Grand Prix and the Midland Cup.


An advert from October 1925.

1925


This was an extremely successful year for Sunbeam riders, whose many achievements included:

First place in the Hungarian Senior T.T.
First place in the Circuit of Brescia.
First place in the Austrian Senior T.T.
First place in the French 24 hours Bol d’Or.
Three Gold Medals, three Silver Medals, and two special awards, in the Colmore Cup Trial.
Mr. N. P. O. Bradley, on his 3½ hp. combination, won a gold medal in the Midland Cup, as did R. G. G. Beesley, on his 4¼ hp. combination, George Dance, on his 2¾ hp. solo machine, and G. W. Walker, on a 3½ hp. solo machine. Sunbeam riders also won 3 silver medals.

3 Sunbeam machines were entered for the Southport Rough Riders Trial, on March 8th. They finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

In the French Bol d’Or, Mons. R. Francisquet riding his 3½ hp. o.h.v. Sunbeam achieved a world record for covering just over 1,008 miles in 24 hours.

Mr. R. G. G. Beesley had many successes on his 4¼ hp. Sunbeam combination, including:

February A gold medal in the Colmore Cup Trial
March A gold medal in the Victory Trial
April A silver spoon in the West Birmingham Douglas Cup Trial
April The B.S.A. Cup and gold medal in the Redditch Terry Goblet Trial
April The best performance in the M.C. and A.C. Invitation Team Trials
August The Captain’s Cup in the Birmingham M.C.C. Half Day Trial
September The President’s Shield in the West Birmingham President’s Shield Trial
October The Dawes Vase in the Alec Ross Trial
October A silver spoon in the M.C. and A.C. Closing Trial
November A gold medal in the Birmingham Lamp Light Trial
In December Mr. W. E. McClure won the Solo Cup in the Coast to Coast Trial.
In the Birmingham Motor Cycle Club Christmas Trial, Mr. G. B. Goodman achieved the best solo performance, Alan Watson had the best sidecar performance, and N. P. O. Bradley, and R. G. G. Beesley both won gold medals.


An advert from January, 1926.

1926


In the Colmore Cup Trial, G. W. Walker won the Watson Shield, Alan Watson won the Hassall Cup, N. P. O. Bradley won the Carless Cup, R. G. Beesley won a special Gold Medal for his sidecar performance, George Dance won a special Gold Medal for his solo performance, and Gold medals were won by Graham Goodman and Harold Fearnside.

In the Scottish Six Days Trial, 2 silver cups were won for 100 percent efficiency, and a special prize for the best amateur sidecar performance.

The 500 c.c. class in the Irish 25 Miles National Championship was won on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam.

In the Barrow Open Speed Trials, Sunbeam riders won 5 firsts and 6 seconds, including the fastest time of the day, both solo and sidecar.

The 500 c.c. class in the Circuit of Padova in Italy was won on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam.

The fastest time of the day in the Gugger Hill Climb in Hungary was won on a 3½ hp. Sunbeam. Another 3½ hp. Sunbeam won the 500 c.c. and 750 c.c. races in the Czechoslovakian T.T.

In the Italian T.T. a Sunbeam machine came second in the 500 c.c. class.

The Sunbeam team won 4 Gold Medals, the Manufacturers’ Team Prize, and the Exhibition Medal in the International Six Days Trial.

Other Sunbeam wins included:

The 500 c.c. Ulster Grand Prix
The 600 c.c. Leinster Hundred
The French Bol d’Or
5 Italian Championships
The 500 c.c. Championship of Switzerland
The Scott Trial
The Arbuthnot Trophy Trial
The North Wales Open Trial
The Grand Prix of Nations at Monza, won by Achille Varzi on a 493 c.c. machine
The Scott Trial, won by T. E. Fintoff. Sunbeams also came in 3rd and 4th, and won the Myer’s Cup for the best trade team
The Hungarian Senior T.T.
The Italian Grand Prix
The Grand Prix of Nations
The Grand Prix de France
The Ulster Grand Prix
The Leinster Hundred
The 500 c.c. Championship of Italy

An advert from 1927.

1927


Sunbeam riders won the following events:

The Baden Grand Prix
The Lyons Grand Prix
The Grand Prix of Italian Moto Club
The Circuit de l’Aisne
The Ulster Grand Prix, 350 c.c.
The Kickham Memorial Trophy
The Grand Prix of Nations
The Grand Prix of Baden
The Diamond Helmet, Australia
The Daily Dispatch 200 Guinea Trophy
The Marseilles Grand Prix won by Mr. Balazs on his 493 c.c. machine
The Grand Prix of Maribor, Yugoslavia won by Mr. Baumann on his 493 c.c. machine
The Jersey Races in which Mr. H. Wakeham won the Gallichan Cup for the fastest time
The Grand Prix of Europe, 500c.c. won by G. W. Walker on his 493 c.c. o.h.v. machine
The Brooklands 200 Miles Solo Race won by Mr. R. Gibson on his 493 c.c. machine
The Swiss Grand Prix. Sunbeam came 1st in the sidecar race, 2nd in the 350 c.c. race, 3rd in the 500 c.c. race, and won the team prize

The Birmingham – Holyhead Trial, won by Alan Watson on his 493 c.c. combination
The Italian Senior T.T., won by Sig. L. Arcangeli on his 493 c.c. machine
The Welsh 100 Miles T.T. Race at Pendine, 500 c.c., won by R. Dunlop on his 493 c.c. machine
The Colmore Cup Trial, won by Alan Watson on his 493 c.c. combination
The Victory Cup Trial, won by George Dance on his 493 c.c. solo machine
Mr. G. W. Walker finished in 2nd place on his 493 c.c. o.h.v. machine, in the French Grand Prix, and Sunbeam won the team prize in the Swiss Grand Prix, and the A.C.U. Stock Machine Trial

An advert from 1928.

1928


This was another successful competitive year for Sunbeam riders. The works team continued to be as prominent as ever, thanks in no small measure to their rising star, Charlie Dodson, who became a well-known personality in the motorcycle world.

Sunbeam's many successes for the year included the following:

The Southport 25 miles Sand Race. First and second places
4 gold medals in the Colmore Cup Trial, on 11th February
The best performance of the day, the best solo performance, the best sidecar performance, and the team prize in the Cope Cup Reliability Trial, on 18th February
3 wins in the Cotswold Reliability Trial, on 18th February. They were the Gloucestershire Cup for the best 500 c.c. machine, the Gibb Trophy for the best solo performance by an amateur, and the Haines & Strange Cup for the best performance by a pre-1924 machine.
The fastest time of the day in the Ice Races at Eresjo and Ymsen, Sweden
5 First Class Awards in the M.C.C. London – Exeter Trial
The Highest Award in the German ‘Landerfahrt’ 2,000 miles race was won by J. A. Woodhouse on his
4¼ hp. combination
3 gold medals and the team prize in the Stock Machine Trial
N. P. O. Bradley on his 599 c.c. combination made the best performance in the Travers Trophy Trial
Sunbeam riders won 18 first class awards in the London – Edinburgh Trial
The fastest time in the Donzelle Hill Climb, Switzerland was made by by F. Franconi on his combination
Mons. F. Sabet set a new record for flying kilometre at 106.2 m.p.h. in the Hanka Speed Trials, Cairo
G. C. Shackleford won the flying and standing start events, and a cup for best aggregate performance in the
Pietermaritzburg Speed Trials, South Africa
The fastest time was made by Mons. R. Franciquet on his 493 c.c. machine in the Dix-Sept Tournants Hill Climb
Two cups were won in the Cheshire Centre Championship. The Boston Challenge Cup was won by
C. Edge, and the Cheshire Centre Sporting Trophy was won by S. Higso
9 firsts, 8 seconds were won in the Falkirk Open Hill Climb
First place in the Hungarian Senior T.T.
First place in the Italian Senior T.T.
First place in the German Grand Prix
First place in the Belgian Grand Prix
Second place in French Grand Prix
The team prize in the Stock Machine Trial
First place in the Traverse Trophy Trial
First place in the Sidecar Grand Prix of Europe, 600 c.c.
First place in the Birmingham – Holyhead – Birmingham annual 24 hours Trial
Alan Watson won the M.C. and A.C. Trophy
N. P. O. Bradley won the Jordison Trophy
2nd and third place in the Manx Amateur Road Championship
R. Gibson won the Senior 3 lap handicap at Brooklands. Average speed 100.01 m.p.h.
6 gold medals were won in the International Six Days Trial


1929

Sunbeam riders achieved the following:

6 awards in the Reliance Cup
In January Charlie Dodson won the 500 c.c. class in the Southport 25 mile Sand Race. In September he entered the event again and won the Daily Despatch Trophy. In March Gilbert Emery won the 350 c.c. class in the same meeting.
First place in the Colmore Cup Trial
First place in the Victory Cup Trial
First place in the Reliance Open Speed Challenge Cup
First place in the Kickham Memorial Trophy
First place in the Southern Trials
Charlie Dodson won the French Grand Prix at an average speed of 76.6 m.p.h., and set a new lap record
Charlie Dodson finished in 3rd place in the Dutch Grand Prix 500 c.c. class
E. Smith finished in 2nd place in the Dutch Grand Prix 350 c.c. class
E. Patzold won the 1,000 c.c. German Grand Prix at Nurburgring in July. Arthur Simcock finished in 2nd place in the 500 c.c. class, Charlie Dodson came 6th, Mr. Jaekal came 8th
Achille Varzi won the Italian Senior T.T. Mr. Balaza won the Solo Grand Prix, and D. Farkas won the sidecar race
Mr Balaza won the Budapest Grand Prix
Achille Varzi won the Grand Prix of Nations at Monza in September, and achieved a new lap record in the process.
Charlie Dodson came third in the 500 c.c. class in the Grand Prix of Europe

For further info details of the Isle of Mann TT results click here

 

 

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