Restored to S7 Deluxe Spec

1951 Sunbeam S8 500cc

Make: Sunbeam
Model: S8 500cc
Year: 1951
Registration Number: XFF 840
Frame Number: S8.3754
Engine Number: S8.1743
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £3850

Lot No: 204

BSA had acquired ‘captured’ plans of the BMW R75 by way of reparations following WW2, but the full rights actually became part of the Sunbeam brand and the S7 was created in the Redditch factory. This had a longitudinally mounted 500cc twin engine with coil ignition and shaft drive to the rear wheel rather like a motor car. As with most Sunbeam products of the era, the tendency for over-engineering was prevalent and expensive to produce, so the S8 was born with fewer costly features, while retaining many of the innovative parts and updating some ideas. A revised frame, plus a lightening of the specification enabled the S8 to be sold as a sportier model.

This particular S8 has been well restored to S7 Deluxe specification in a previous ownership. It has been in the current enthusiast custodianship since 2008 but due to a relocation to America the year after, the vendor has decided that the Sunbeam must find a new home.

It has been well maintained when time has allowed, we are informed that mechanical work has included the fitting of a new camshaft and tensioner, electronic ignition and new brake shoes etc. The S8 has been used every summer since 2009 but has basically been in storage now for some time; although always regularly ‘turned over’, we are told that the carburettor will now need to be rebuilt and we suppose that a light recommissioning service may be beneficial.

Regarded by many as the Roll-Royce of motorcycles, this example is indeed a beautiful machine and with a little further fettling, it will easily return to its proper head-turning former glory.  Please note that the attention of the new owner will be required to revise the engine and frame number inconsistencies on the V5C, but we cannot imagine that it will be too complicated to overcome.

The history file contains MOT test certificates dating from 1995, invoices, images, new and older parts lists, a copy of On the Beam from 1976, a workshop manual, a Bedside Book, c.1950s learner plates, an older V5C, the current V5C registration certificate and others. Two boxes of spare parts, including assorted carburettor and distributor parts, are included).