1920s New Hudson Lady’s Imperial
BSA Three-Speed Gears
As there is no logical sequence to their frame numbers, it’s very difficult to date a New Hudson bicycle accurately. Like all large manufacturers, at different times, they made bikes for other companies, and also exported their machines to Commonwealth countries. In the 1930s, they had at least sixty different models available. This particular style of Lady’s Roadster was in production for many years. It was a well-built bicycle, popular with customers. It is strange that, compared with other manufacturers’ machines, there are few pre-war New Hudson bicycles around today.
This example is in excellent condition, retaining its original paint and transfers (decals). It was recently serviced, with new Schwalbe tyres and tubes, and is ready to ride.
I don’t have any early catalogues for New Hudson. But here’s an extract from the 1933 New Hudson catalogue, showing the 1930s version of the same bicycle:
NEW HUDSON HISTORY
The New Hudson marque began in the late 1800′s as a bicycle factory in Birmingham, England. But the company is better known as a manufacturer of motorcycles and autocycles.
The owner George Patterson made his first motorcycle in 1902, but as it was not a sales success no more were produced until 1910. From 1910 to 1932, with the exception of the years 1915 to 1919 when munitions and bicycles only were made, motorcycle production averaged about 2000 each year. In 1932 production ceased: as a result of the recession, sales became no longer profitable. The company continued to make bicycles, and also diversified into making Girling brake systems for cars. In 1940 the bicycle factory began to produce an autocycle with a 98cc Villiers engine which was a success. The bicycle factory was purchased by BSA in 1943 and production continued under the New Hudson name. The Girling brake factory passed into the ownership of Joseph Lucas. After the second World War, B.S.A. continued to make autocycles bearing the New Hudson name until 1957.
The above history with thanks to Eric Londesbrough, author of the book New Hudson, The History of a Motor Cycle Company
I owned the 1924 New Hudson 350cc motorcycle pictured below in 2006.
NEW HUDSON AUTOCYCLE