* One of only 11 production models made * Unique specification * Recent extensive refurbishment
According to the London Motorcycle Museum, this Austel Pullman 1300 is the last one built before its designer's death. Austel motorcycles were produced by Austel Engineering of Maidenhead, Berkshire between 1985 and 1991. Engineer/designer Chris Castell used an Austin Mini engine to power a durable, economical and easily serviced motorcycle. The Austel name was derived from the first letters of Austin and the last letters of Castell, dropping the second 'l'. The Austel 1000 Mark 1 prototype was built in 1981 for Chris's own use and was closely followed by the Mark 2. These bikes had foot-operated automatic gearboxes, side-mounted radiators, chain drive, alloy wheels and Austel leading link forks, and were named 'Lotec' due to their simplicity.
The natural progression from the Lotec was the Pullman motorcycle combination, the prototype of which appeared in 1987. Production models had a full duplex frame with box-section swinging arm, 1,300cc engine, twin front disc brakes, single rear disc and a front mounted radiator, while attaching the sidecar made it possible to use a manual gearbox with hand change. The choice of sidecar was down to the customer, and design developments and customer requirements meant that no two Austels were identical. Excluding prototypes, it is estimated that 11 production Austels were made, ten before Castell's death and one after. There is an Austel Lotec on display at the London Motorcycle Museum.
First registered in December 1991, 'Q233 AAN' has had four former keepers, the last of whom owned the machine from February 2007 until October 2014 when it was purchased by the current vendor. This Austel is powered by an Austin Metro engine fitted with AE slipper pistons, Kent 256 camshaft and a 44mm SU carburettor, while other noteworthy features include a Reliant Robin rear axle, 25-litre fuel tank (in sidecar boot), Austel forks and wheels, and Hagon shock absorbers. The sidecar is a Kent 'adult and child' manufactured by Martello Plastics Ltd of Folkestone, Kent, which is fitted with the rare removal sunroof option while the child's area houses the long-range fuel tank and provides extra luggage capacity.
Recent works carried out included refurbishing the wheels; removal and repainting all motorcycle and sidecar glassfibre parts; fabrication of new sidecar bumper and side-impact bar; new air scoop, wing mirror, cockpit and boot carpets; new bespoke Hagon shock absorbers; and blasting and repainting the exhaust manifold. This ultra-rare machine comes with a ring binder containing magazine articles, V5C registration document, MoT to July 2016, miscellaneous papers and receipts for work carried out.