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Montgomery Anzani 1924 8/38hp V-Twin


More details and photographs will be added soon

1924 Montgomery 8/38. Fitted with British Anzani 996cc, 8 Valve, 57 degree, V Twin engine. Bore and stroke 83 x 92mm

Frame and Forks made by Montgomery Motorcycles of Coventry, earlier of Bury-St-Edmunds, Suffolk.

Frame is of duplex down tube construction with Engine Plates that encompass the engine and continue under the Gearbox with a cast H section. Rear Forks are of the 3 Tube competition type construction.

Forks are Montgomery Leaf Spring type. The Fork blades form a very wide Diamond shape with the upper section cast in Iron and the lower portions heavily tapered tubes.

Handlebars are made in 2 separate sections screwed into the Fork Top Yoke.

Saddle is fitted on a sliding tube arrangement in the rear vertical frame tube, pinch bolted in place to suite rider height.

A very secure centre stand is fitted to the frame just below the Gearbox, held up by 2 side springs.

Frame and Forks are in excellent condition the Forks and steering head races having been fully overhauled before painting.

The Frame and Forks have been checked for alignment and are very good despite the small evidence of crash damage that was not possible to remove from the right-hand lower fork.

A Steering Damper of the Andre type is fitted to the top of the Forks anchored to the Fuel Tank top.

Forks have double Damper Discs fitted to the Top Links adjustable by rotating Knurled Brass Hand-wheels.

Steel Mudguards of narrow racing type are fitted over front and rear wheels. Front Wheel is 21" with a 3" Wired edge ribbed tyre. Rear Wheel is 20" with a 350 Avon SM Tyre.

Wheels are Enfield Hubs with Cush-drive rear with 8" Drum Brake operated by Foot Pedal on the left via a Bowdenex double wound cable.

Front 7" Drum Brake operated by inverted Handlebar lever via Bowdenex cable.

Gearbox and Clutch are Sturmey-Archer heavy weight four stud gearbox and Cork Clutch. Drive is 5/8" x 3/8" Primary and Final Drive. Both have original cast Alloy covers.

Fuel/ Oil tank is Nickel plated steel. Approx. capacity 2.5 gall petrol and 3/4 gall Oil. Both have large bore Lever taps. The left fuel tap incorporating a reserve capacity.

Engine Oil is gravity fed to the Best and Lloyd pump on the Mag chain drive cover. The pump delivers an adjustable amount to the Timing chest where it is automatically vacuum fed to the Crankshaft via a hollow timing side Mainshaft.

Engine has only one pair of Cams operating both cylinders' valve gear via levers operated by rollers held between steel plates either side of the cams. Push-rods are adjustable at the top where they operate on flat ended Rocker arms retained by special flat ended pins.

The Rockers run on greased ball races and operate two parallel inlet and two parallel exhaust valves per cylinder in a pent head. No adjustment is provided between each pair of valves. Both pairs of Valves have independent ports only joining at the cast inlet and exhaust manifolds.

Magneto is a Lucas AC2 firing 18mm Spark Plugs that are positioned horizontal in each Cylinder Head.

Two Carburetors are fitted. One to each Cylinder. They are fitted on independent manifolds in a cross-over pattern, the front carb in the conventional rearward facing position and the rear forward facing with a shield to stop ingress of foreign matter.

Four separate Exhaust systems are fitted. The front two 2" pipes fit over the exhaust manifolds and are secured by finned clamps. The two rear pipes fit inside the manifolds and are secured by screwed bolts. All four pipes have separate 'Silent Ghost' silencers fitted at the rear on special secure mountings for racing.

A derivative of the 8/38 British Anzani 8 Valve engine, mounted inverted, was used in the Flying Flea light aircraft made in the late 1920's an example of which is in the Brooklands Museum.

“These Montgomery machines are for the men who prefer a distinctive mount in appearance and performance. That extra degree of soundness – those little touches which distinguish the ‘super’ machine from the mere motor cycle, come naturally to the Montgomery and at a price that is amazingly low.” – Montgomery advertisement.

This is a picture of the man himself in a 1931 Montgomery catalogue

A rare example of one of the most famous British ‘superbikes’ of the 1920s, this Montgomery v-twin has been in the present owner’s hands for the past 29 years.

The Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds is a long way from the British motorcycle industry’s West Midlands heartland, yet this was where William J Montgomery chose to set up in business as a manufacturer in the early years of the 20th Century, although after WWI he relocated to Coventry. Like many of his contemporaries, including rivals Brough and McEvoy, Montgomery relied heavily on proprietary components, although the frame and forks were manufactured in-house. Indeed, Montgomery supplied frames and its own sprung fork to George Brough in the latter’s early days.

In the v-twin’s case, components used included Enfield hubs, Sturmey-Archer gearbox and clutch, and a 996cc Anzani engine. This 57-degree, 8-valve unit was manufactured by British Anzani, the UK offshoot of the original French company established at Courbevoie, Paris in 1907 to manufacture aero engines. Agents at first, British Anzani became a manufacturer in its own right during WWI, but after the conflict’s end had little choice but to diversify or perish. Fortunately, during the war the company had secured the services of Belgian motorcycle racer and engineer Hubert Hagens, and it was he who designed the 8-valve v-twin, a versatile power unit that would find applications in motorcycles, light cars and aircraft right up to WW2. There were several versions of this engine, with different bore/stroke ratios and capacities of either 1,000 or 1,100cc. A Morgan fitted with one of these Anzani engines set two World Records in 1922, while Hagens’ later overhead-camshaft v-twin was used by Claude Temple to set several motorcycle World Speed Records, the fastest at over 120mph.

This Montgomery was displayed on Bonhams’ stand at the Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show on February 11/12th, attracting some of the biggest crowds and the attention of countless photographers, both amateur and professional.

Bonhams will be displaying this wonderful machine on two further occasions prior to the Stafford Sale: at The International Historic Motorsport Show, Stoneleigh on 24/25/26th February and at the finish of the Pioneer Run, Brighton on Sunday 19th March.

This Machine is To be sold at The International Classic MotorCycle Show Stafford County Showground, England.

On the 23 April 2006

The Montgomery was aquired subtatialy complete, but in a very worn out state. It has been lovingly restored, on and off, over a 29 year period.

Some of the parts before plating, gear change lever, oil pipes, 4 x silencer clamps, 2 x tank caps stamped MCC ( Montgomery Cycle Co. ) 2 x tank cap T bars, 2 x finned ex. nuts, 1 x saddle tube, 4 + 2 exhaust pipe clamps, nuts and bolts

Engine timing side, before fitting oil pump and mag drive

The original exhausts and 'Silent Ghost' silencers before being sent with the bike as patterns to make a new exhausts system. Also the original manifolds, built up to make patterns to cast new ones as they were also very badly corroded.

"Silent Ghost" Silencers beyond repair

Montgomery sidecar chassis with fittings for 8/38 motorcycle and body mounting springs. No wheel, mudguard or body.

Back with the new exhausts and engine rebuilt and nickle plated as original

Dry run of engine and gearbox in chassis, working on oil pump

Nearly complete with new tank, before painting and plating

New tank craftsmanship

Tank, Silencer clamps, exhausts, nuts and bolts, etc. from platers. "all the shiney bits"

Newly painted fork blades, foot brake pedal, mudguard stays, sprocket, centre stand etc.

Mont'y reborn

Early morning sunshine

Ready for the off

Having Fun Testing

The British Anzani history site is worth a visit via this link