Year of manufacture1936
Engine numberS 3169
1936 Rudge 499cc Sports Special
Registration no. BZ 3768
Frame no. 56422
Engine no. S 3169
Dan Rudge, landlord of the Tiger's Head pub in Wolverhampton and a maker of high-quality, high-wheeler bicycles from the early 1870s, makes Rudge one of the oldest names in two-wheelers. After Dan's death, his patents went to a Coventry firm and the company we know was born. What made the later Rudge motorcycles famous was a variable 'Multi' gear before the Great War and their outstanding and beautifully-engineered four-valve engine technology in the 'twenties. This produced power and reliability, enabling Rudge to win races, subsequently selling advanced engines to the general public. One of these light, compact and fast roadsters is the 1937-model Sports Special on sale here. Of almost square engine dimensions, with fully-enclosed four-valve gear, allied to the excellent four-speed 'box enabled them to trounce Sunbeam in the 19330 T.T., with added flair due to its fashionable, high-level exhaust.
This example has been beautifully and comprehensively restored to original specification for sporting road use, by a committed enthusiast, with an engine and gearbox rebuild by Rudge specialist Colin Chapple. With contemporary photos, DVLA correspondence and V5C, as well as a collection of Rudge literature, BZ 3768 should be ready for the road following the usual safety checks. An outstanding machine.