1914 Sunbeam Motorcycle with Milford Sidecar
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
|When first issued it proved
to be highly unpopular with collectors due to it being in a plated form.
The reason for this was that paint would have obscured the superb detail
of parts of the casting like the engine. The normal issue has dark green
seats, but some were issued in a brighter green (pic. 3) and others in
black which are very rare indeed (pic.4). Main variant is the front forks
with earlier ones having an open gap (pic.1) whilst later issues were
filled in (pic.2). There is another variation concerning a brace on the
sidecar axle but it is very difficult to see and was used to strengthen
A really rare issue is a model in gold plate, but beware as fakes of these have been seen, but generally the plating is of a 'brassy' nature whereas the genuine model should be a very pale gold colour (pic.5, 6 and 7). You can see the comparison between gold and silver in pics 6 and 7.
This model was trialled extensively as a possible release for the 25th. Anniversary model in colours such as blue, red, green and white with many different seat colours, both sidecar and bike but instead the Y12 came out. New paint technology allowed these superb models to be painted without obscuring the detail.
NOTE: There are currently issues of this model being sold with reproduction seats in black and various other colours as genuine items. Most seem to come from Australia so be careful when buying them. A quick check is to run the edge of your teeth over the rear of the sidecar seat. Originals feel very hard whilst others have a soft feel to them, these models are now some 50 years old and the seats should be hard, brittle and very shiny. The others have a 'translucent' look to them with a coating over the top to make them shine but this comes away in patches and looks like skin peel from sunburn under the eyepiece.
(pics. 4 & 5 from Vectis Auctions, UK)
Box Types for Y8-2
D1 D1 D2 D3 E E1 F