I was interested to read your article on the Belsize Bradshaw car. I owned one of these from 1922 to 1930, and was lucky enough to get another chassis in 1955, which was rebuilt and on the road again by 1957.
The original bore and stroke was, as you say, 85 mm. x 114 mm., but the stroke was very soon increased to 121 mm., giving a cubic capacity of 1,370 c.c. Even with this increase in stroke there was no excess of power, and the maximum speed was about 45 m.p.h., with a cruising speed of 30 – 35 m.p.h.
There was a sports model, with aluminium pistons, advertised to do 55 m.p.h., but I do not know if many of these were actually produced.
The petrol consumption was 30 – 35 m.p.g. and oil consumption about 700 m.p.g.
The revolving clutch stop – designed to ensure silent changes into top gear – was, I suppose, an early form of synchromesh.
There are at least two other B. B.s running, apart from my own – one in Norfolk, and the other in Sussex, and I have an almost complete chassis which I keep for spares, the missing parts being a broken crankcase and bent crankshaft. If any of your readers has a B.B. engine for sale, or wants other mechanical parts for a B. B. I would be glad to hear from him.
I think Mr. Chapman’s recollection “if, as often happened, a B.B. was encountered en panne” is rather unkind to a reliable little car. Mine did over 50,000 miles between 1922 and 1930, and the only serious troubles were big-end failures in the first six months – due partly to a faulty oil pump, and partly to my driving the car too fast!
I am, Yours, etc..
Welwyn. – W. M. Buchanan.