1933 Montgomery JAP 350 ‘Works Racer’


Built as the Works entry by Montgomery for the 1933/4 Junior TT to be ridden by Francesco Franconi possibly supported by Rowland Smith of Hampstead.

It is similar in specification to the 1931 entry, but using one of the special dry sump, ‘cross-port’ JAP racing engines produced by J A Prestwick of Tottenham, London for the most deserving manufacturers who were likely to be successful following previous performances.

As a result of the world financial crisis at this time, many of the regular TT entrants ‘scratched’ from the TT that particular year, Montgomery was unfortunately one of them. The machine stayed at the works until 1936, when Godfrey Littleford, an amateur rider from Knowle, near Birmingham, bought it to have a go at the IOM himself. However he does not appear as a rider or entrant in either the TT or the Manx. It next appeared in 1944, this time in Coventry, with Doug Beasley of Velocette and Excelsior fame. He modified it to run on Methanol as a short circuit racer to take advantage of the numerous airfield circuits available after WW2 around the Midlands. Both Ansty and Donington were mentioned by Doug.  At some point in the late 1940’s it came into the possession of a machine tool engineer at Humber Ltd, called Freddie Mouldon from whom the current owner purchased it in 1963. It had again been substantially modified this time for Grass Track racing and in fact won the 1953 East Midlands Championship.

The engine was then rebuilt and was competitive during the 60’s in quarter mile Sprints and Hill Climbs.  It even made the front cover of MCN in 1964.  The cross-port design of this engine was known to provide more horse power than the layout eventually adopted for Speedway work.

The reason for this was that the position of the carburettor intake ensured that it ‘hoovered’ up the loose track shale thus the motor requiring a re-bore after every meeting….not a good selling point.   The present configuration has come about after 50 years of researching and rebuilding this machine , initially to use again as originally built, but for historic / classic racing, as so many racing motorcycles of this period are.

Included in the sale is correspondence to Doug Beasley from J A Prestwick, together with the original engine test data sheet and a number of cuttings from contemporary motorcycle periodicals. A unique motorcycle with an interesting history that is eligible for many VMCC events.

ESTIMATE £18,000- £22,000

Auction The Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show February 2016
Auction Date N/A
Day of Auction N/A

lot details

Lot Number 144
Registration Number Not Road Registered
Chassis Number N/A
Year 1933
Make Montgomery
Model JAP 350 ‘Works Racer’

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