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Abbott Acme AJP Amill Antig AJS GR7 Apfelbeck AJW Aussie Powel Ariel


Built by Joe Abbott who rode for the Bradford Odsal track, circa 1946 - may well have been a one off and therefore unique - but may be you know different, if so then let us know by clicking here to contact.

Acme and Rex-Acme

Acme started machine production in Coventry in 1902, founded, it is believed by a Frederick W Allard.

Using other manufacturer’s engines to begin with they produced their own 3hp Acme model with a 4.5 hp Auto-motor listed for use with trailers although by 1904 and they were making an Auto-Motor engine for themselves.

In 1908 two machines were entered in the TT races but they were not successful and Acme machines were not entered again. Sometime prior to 1920 they began to fit the JAP engines and produced their own side-valve single and v-twin engines.  

George Henry Hemingway became Managing Director and under his directorship the development of their equipment continued, 1920 a 976cc v-twin with 3 speed chain driven gearbox and in 1921 a 2.75hp single with 2 speeds and a chain and belt drive, and then in 1922 a change of name to the Coventry Acme Motor Co. The same year they merged with the Rex Motor Manufacturing Company, who were close neighbours producing very similar machines, to becoming the Rex-Acme Motor Manufacturing Company and the company continued producing motorcycles from their base in Coventry until they closed in 1933.

Alan Johns, ex-team member of
Canterbury and Crayford and brother of Peter Johns, engine tuner, must have found their experience and knowledge helpful to call upon when he decided to manufacture speedway frames.

Alan and Peter produced a frame called the AJP manufactured with extended alloy engine plates to enable the fitting of the centre carburettor that was popular during the 1970’s. This frame was used by the successful England and Reading rider Dave Jessup and became popular amongst others riding during this period, Alan Johns started a speedway training track at Eastbourne  producing, for some of the students, a Junior machine. He was active in the production of speedway equipment from 1967 to 1986


Amill was the name used for a number of frames produced by Archie Windmill towards the end of his riding career and just for a short period between 1948 - 1950

Antig Engineering
Although manufactures of grass track frames from 1965 they were not really know in speedway until the 1980’s. Apart from the fact that they were based in Gloucester and that there may be a connection with the late Tig Perry I can find little about this firm although the frame seems to be widely known. Writing in 2012 there seems to be no reason to believe that the original Antig Engineering is still in operation.

A. J. Stevens & Co. Ltd (AJS) founded in 1909 producing cars and motorcycles in Wolverhampton. In speedways early days they produced a very popular speedway machine but unfortunately there seem to be very few pictures of this particular model and the few I have seen are somewhat out of focus, such a shame, can anyone help with a nice crisp photo? AJS was taken over by Matchless in 1931 although the name AJS continues to this day, used by
Matchless, Associated Motorcycles and Norton-Villiers until 1969, since then the name has been used on two-stroke scramblers and lightweight road bikes. Along with the many other AJS sporting models the GR7 holds a place in the hearts of many a motorcycle enthusiast. (insert shows the badge of the AJS - Matchless Owners Club)

Not sure if more than one of these machines made it onto a track in the UK, designed by Rudwid Apfelbect as a complete machine it was ridden by Leopold Killmayer, an Austrian who rode for Plymouth in 1933 & 1936. It sported a 4 valve engine with two exhausts, two carburettors and two camshafts, it also had two large air cleaner pans with the aim to allow air in and keep dirt out. Fuel and oil tanks were an integral part of the frame which also had rear suspension, the front forks of a grass track model having rubber suspension bands.

Founded in 1928 by Arthur John Wheaton (AJW Motorcycles Ltd) the  company would be best described as motorcycle assemblers and importers as they did not make or produce machines made to their own designs. They assembled speedway machines between 1930 to 1954 using a number of different components from different manufactures, they did produce or have produced a large diameter top tube that functioned as the oil tank and an engine steady that extended from the top of the rear lug on the crank case to the bottom of the seat fixing.

(The following taken from Tony Webb’s book A-Z Speedway Bikes - Binbooks)

Four types of the AJW speedway bike are known:

Type 1 – dated 1947 to 48 – very like the old style Excelsior.

Type 2 – made 1949 to 50 – on this there is no “saddledown” tube (no tube from under the seat)

Type 3 – 1951 to 1952 and

Type 4  - also 1951 to 52 having the conventional styled fuel tank.

Aussie Powell
Ossie ‘Aussie’ Powell was a former rider at both Hastings and Norwich and despite his nickname was not Australian, it was he who in 1950, built a forward inclined engine that was ridden by the late Dick Howard with much success proving that laydowns are nothing new, Dick Howard was a Poole Pirate for the seasons 1949, 1950 and 1951. Speedway and entrepreneurship seem to be in the family as Dick Howard’s son Dave Howard was also a speedway rider and manufacturer of a range of speedway products marketed between 1978 to 1980 under the name of Scorpio.

In the very early speedway days an Ariel 488cc was used on the dirt tracks but as dirt track racing became more popular so did the number of machines available. The Ariel can claim to have been ridden at the first meeting at High Beech in 1928 but shortly after that it disappeared from the speedway meetings never to return.

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