Wed, 10th Jun 2009 13:15

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 37

1960 Berkeley T60

Sold for £4,838

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: 83 BOH
Chassis No: 1346
Mot Expiry: None

Maverick but brilliant freelance car designer Laurie Bond designed the Berkeley sports car in response to the Suez crisis. Small and incredibly light, with composite glassfibre/steel/aluminium monocoque, transverse engine, front-wheel drive and all-independent suspension with twin wishbones at the front and coil spring/dampers all round, it was way ahead of its time at launch in 1956.
Unfortunately most sports car types didn't adapt well to low-powered, high maintenance British two-stroke motorcycle engines of the time, despite some significant racing successes. It was only when Berkeley launched the three-wheel T60, aimed at graduating motorcyclists, that it achieved sales success, with some 1800 made in 18 months. Fitted with an Excelsior Talisman Twin 328cc two-cylinder two-stroke engine and specially adapted Albion four-speed gearbox with reverse, the T60 was fun to drive and quite lively around town, with a top speed on the level of up to 60mph.

After years as Editor of the Berkeley Enthusiasts Club, Malcolm acquired this T60 for restoration in 1991. The bodyshell was restored by the Vehicle Restoration school at the Colchester Institute of Technology, but then remained in storage for some years until the car was reassembled with many new parts and made drivable for demonstration at the 2006 Goodwood Revival Meeting, where it enjoyed its maiden run in front of tens of thousands. It successfully completed three demonstration runs at Goodwood and has recently been prepared for MOT, though it is not yet known whether the car will have passed its test before sale. A substantial history file with the car includes a continuation log book from 1965, showing it spent most of its life in Middlesex.

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