1931 Sunbeam 3½hp Model 6 Lion 'Longstroke' Registration no. not registered Frame no. LB 8709A Engine no. LJ 4469
Sunbeam's first overhead-valve engines were introduced in the mid-1920s but early successes were achieved with sidevalve-engined machines, most notably the 492cc (3½hp) 'Longstroke', which secured a debut win at the 1921 French Grand Prix ridden by Alec Bennett. In road-going form this remarkable engine remained in production right up until WW2. A version of it powered the new-for-1931 Model 6 Lion. Introduced in the summer of 1930, the revamped Lion replaced the old Model 6 and featured the innovations - for Sunbeam - of a chromium-plated fuel tank and Webb-pattern girder forks. A 598cc Model 7 Lion joined the range the following year and the two sidevalve workhorses continued in production - surviving Sunbeam's 1937 sale to AMC, relocation of production to Plumstead and the axing of the rest of the traditional models - until the outbreak of WW2.
Restored in the 1970s and believed last used circa 2010, this Lion comes with an old-style buff logbook (issued 1942) for the registration 'GO 109', though it should be noted that this number is not recorded in the DVLA database. The machine will require re-commissioning before returning to the road.