Already established as makers of high-quality bicycles, the firm of John Marston Ltd, of Wolverhampton, introduced the first Sunbeam motorcycle, a 350cc sidevalve single, in 1912. The marque quickly established a reputation for sporting prowess, achieving second place in the 1914 Isle of Man Senior TT and winning the 1920 race. Overhead-valve engines were introduced in the mid 1920s, but early successes were achieved with sidevalve machines, most notably the 492cc ‘Longstroke’ that secured a debut win at the 1921 French Grand Prix.
Although its very first machine had been a ‘350’, Sunbeam had abandoned the class in 1914 in favour of larger capacities, only returning to it in 1923 with an entirely new sidevalve design that would form the basis of all the overhead-valve engines that followed. The new 2¾hp engine first appeared in the essentially similar Models 1 and 2, the former being a foot board-equipped tourer and the latter a more sporting machine.
This late 1929 Sunbeam Model 2 was owned by a film company for some time, primarily for the purpose of filming of the television mini series Harley & the Davidsons. The Sunbeam is said to run well whilst displaying a nice patina to the paintwork. A rare motorcycle and an interesting prospect for the next owner.