Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Cycar

The Cycar made quite a splash in the motorcycle press when introduced in 1932.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of the press accounts refer to this new class of motor bicycle as "Snowdens" and relate them to "the Snowden 15s tax." The explanation for this is found in the Budget Speech delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Snowden on April 27, 1931: "In order to encourage the manufacture in this country of a new type of light motor bicycle which is now being rapidly developed on the Continent, I propose to introduce a special rate of duty for motor bicycles, the engines of which have a cylinder capacity not exceeding 150 cubic centimeters. The annual tax proposed for vehicles falling within this limit will be 15s. in lieu of the present rate of 30s. The concession will take effect from 1st January next, and its effect upon this year's revenue will be negligible." Note that Snowden's motivation was not improved transportation but rather to give British motorcycle makers a popular new product to sell during the economic crisis of the day. By 1933 many makers, including Royal Enfield, had responded. But were the motorcycle makers really interested in these things? The Cycar quickly went from three models to one, then disappeared from the catalog after 1936 when economic times began to improve. There was more money to be made in "real" motorcycles. Ugly and slow, the Cycar was only good at the grim job of commuting to your miserable job in the rain, at the least possible cost. It carried only one person. Motorcycles are for sunny days, with your girl on the back.



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