Just sneaking this one in here as I have always liked the Sunbeam S7 and S8 motorcycles. I first became aware of them when at an early age I was approached by an owner to respoke his wheels, having just taught myself that particular skill, a brave man indeed.
The attraction of this motorcycle was the sleekness of the car like inline twin cylinder 500cc OHC engine and gearbox unit combined with the shaft drive rear wheel. Designed in 1947 it was well ahead of other main stream British machines at the time and no doubt that was what the Sunbeam draughtsmen were going for, something that would stand out in the crowd.
Interestingly Sunbeam had advanced their engine design with plans for a crossflow cylinder head design. A prototype was built however never went into full production as the increase in engine performance that raised the top speed from 75mph to 90mph created extra stresses on other engine and drive components. Such a shame that those components were not redesigned. Perhaps a lack of funds? We will never know. Here is the article that every S7 and S8 owners might like to read.
And for New Zealand the Sunbeam was probably made more popular by Max Corkill and his cat Rastus. They travelled New Zealand two up as one would say, Max riding and Rastus leading point by standing on the petrol tank. Have a look here for a video news clip on their activities.
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