“The Sunbeam Motorcycle” by Robert Cordon Champ. 205 pp. 91/4″ x 61/2″. (Haynes Publishing Group, Sparkled, Yeovil. Somerset BA22 7JJ. £6951
This book is about Sunbeam motorcycles (and the Sunbeam push-cycles), and it mass high standard of how one-tasks hiss, should be presented. There is a wealth of information in this excellent book, about the origins of the Sunbeam bicyclas and motor-cycics, thc competition activities of the famous Company, its production methods in “Sunbeamland” and other factories, the beginnings of the “gentleman’s motorcycle”, the great early-vintagc years, to the svvansong of 1926-1930 and subsequent stagnation in 1939. culminating in the BSA-Sunbeam, etc.
It is all there, capturing exactly the spirit of those times and of Sunbeam lure in particular, a very good iob done by Champ and Editor Jeff Clew. There is an honest account of the mysterious Sunbeam japanned finish (which the book’s dust-(acket depicts), the “characters” who rode Sunbeams in races and trials or designed and manufactured them, are nicely outlined, and the detail is such that from text and appendices Sunbeam products can bc accurately dated, etc. The change in petrol tanks and badges is but a small part of this and the illustrations are not only clear, but they admirably support the text — photographs of bicycles, personalities, factories and factory interiors, machine componems — it is all there, together, of course, with a wealth of racing and trials pictures as-as the years. Even the later four-cylinder BSA-Sunbeam motors.-ycle engines, post-war Sunbeam and BSA-Sunbeam bicycles, and the Raleigh-Sunbeam plastics toy racing car of 1976. are included.
I liked this book very much indeed and it should be welcomed by all Sunbeam enthusiasts. ‘Ile schoolmaster author gained knowledge of “The Sunbeam” at first-hand, while living in the Black Country and has owned Sunbeam motorcycles of his own. — W.B.
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