Sir, I was interested to read Mr. Scott’s letter in February MOTOR SPORT re the Panthette motorcycle (I did not see the preceding letter which he mentions) as I owned and rode one of these continuously for over 4 1/2 years, which was the longest I ever kept any of the 22-odd machines I had. I sold it because I had no further use for a motorcycle but have regretted it ever since as it was a most intriguing machine and much before its time. The handling was quite good as machines went then but the engine was a marvel, it would accelerate like a 500 up to its limit, which with mine was a genuine 62 m.p.h., and trouble free except for two faults in the kickstarter, and the oil pump; the kickstarter sheared its ratchet soon after I got it and I never used it again as it was much easier to just get astride and give a poke off with your feet and away; the oil pump was altered by P. & M. from the original submerged gear pump to an external Pilgrim pump which wore out in a week as it was doing a job for which it had never been designed. I found that an extra pint of oil in the sump just allowed the big-ends to dip, which must have been just right as I never had to replace anything all the time I had it, never had to grind a valve or fit new rings and only topped up with oil about every three months; the valve gear was noisy and could not be be made quiet, but strangely, if you gripped the tank with your knees you did not hear it at all.
I don’t know how many were produced but there was one other besides mine in Doncaster. I think P. & M.s found it too expensive to produce for they dropped it after a year or so and used the frame arrangement to house a 250 Villiers, with conventional gearbox.
My brother and I built a frame to take another Bradshaw-designed engine—the famous 350-c.c. oil-boiler; this would pull better than many 500s and was very reliable if only the crankpin had been a bit larger! It needed ” taking up ” at intervals —an easy but rather messy job.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Doncaster. ROBT. H. ARNOTT.