Some very interesting history


A regular reader, Kevin Maguire contacted me with the following:

Seeing the picture of the lovely little Jowett Jupiter in this week’s Autotrivia quiz made me think a little.

You will, I am sure, know that Jowett Cars started life in the town of Bradford, before moving, still in the environs of Bradford, to Idle (the home of the ‘famous’ Idle Working Men’s Club).  But did you know that Jowett also built the very first few Scott motorcycles.  This year is in fact the 100th anniversary of the move of the Scott factory to Shipley.  The two stroke, water cooled twin was a lovely thing to ride (although I did learn a salutary lesson once, when after leaving town and getting on the open road, I had forgotten to open up the Pilgrim oil pump and had the engine ‘nip’ under me!).

Panther Motorcycle and sidecar.

Not many miles away on the other side of Bradford, Cleckheaton, was the home of another well known motorcycle manufacturer Phelon & Moore, who built the Panther (no – nothing to do with Bob Jankel’s Panther Cars).  Panther motorcycles were built from 1904 until 1967, the most famous models being based around the big single cylinder ‘Sloper’ engines ranging from 500cc up to 654cc.  I well remember a hot Summer’s day, shirt off, as a 16 year old, full of bravado, persuading a friend to let me have a ‘go’ on his Panther outfit.  This sadly ended up with me, who had never handled a motorcycle combination before, let alone a heavy Panther, coupled to a double adult Busmar sidecar, put the thing into a ditch, which just happened to be full of stinging nettles!  Ouch!

Thanks Kevin.  It is a wonder we all lived through our early motoring/motorcycling years!