1925 Brough Superior with 1928 Swallow Model 4 Sidecar

This Brough Superior motorcycle was purchased at auction by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in 1999.  The Model 4 Super Sports sidecar was the most popular of all the sidecars produced by the company during the Blackpool years.  The pointed tail was unique to the Model 4 but like the earlier Model 2, was made from aluminium panels on an ash frame. Weight was kept down to about 80 lbs, which William Lyons thought was important, as many of their competitor’s sidecars were too heavy for the motorbikes of the day.

The Swallow Sidecar was originally the inspiration of William Walmsley, a thirty-year old World War One veteran and motorcyclist, who built his first sidecars in his parents’ garage at their home in Stockport.  When his father retired and the family moved to Blackpool in 1921, he continued this business at their new home.  One of his first customers in Blackpool was his new neighbour William Lyons, who even at the age of twenty, was quick to see a future in building sidecars.  He convinced Walmsley that they should form a partnership, and increase production from two to ten sidecars per week.  Because of young Lyons’s age, at first his father had to sign documents guaranteeing the new partnership.

Therefore it was only on 4th September 1922 (Lyons’s twenty-first birthday) that the Swallow Sidecar Company was officially formed.  Production moved from Walmsley’s garage to a small factory in Bloomfield Road in Blackpool, a building which is still in existence.  Made from alloy panels over an ash wooden frame, the Swallow sidecar’s unique ‘Zeppelin’ design quickly proved popular with the motorcycling fraternity.

Both William Walmsley and William Lyons were keen motorcyclists in their youth and owned a variety of machines, but the Brough Superior was their favourite.  A Brough, originally owned by Lyons, is reported to be still in existence.  These bikes, often known as ‘the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles’, were the products of George Brough of Nottingham.  George Brough later returned the compliment by becoming an enthusiastic Jaguar owner, although not before he had tried his hand at making his own cars.

Registration Mark: RK 4654

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 17/S.02, 18/S.03