The Swallows that really made a summer!

Mick Payne considers the links between Swallow sidecars and Jaguar cars as Team Katy makes a brief foray into central Wales.

It’s not quite so summery as Motor Cycle’s Peter Fraser and Bill Banks try out a new Royal Enfield Constellation and Swallow sidecar as they head to the 1963 Elephant Rally in Germany.
It’s not quite so summery as Motor Cycle’s Peter Fraser and Bill Banks try out a new Royal Enfield Constellation and Swallow sidecar as they head to the 1963 Elephant Rally in Germany.

Team Katy recently spent a few days riding the sidecar outfit around central Wales, staying at Radnor Revivals which is run by a bike-mad family (see page 16). Tim also has an engineering business rebuilding classic Jaguar engines of the six-cylinder persuasion,
and runs a 1955 Triumph Thunderbird/Watsonian Monza outfit – his first.

The chair has been removed while the Triumph’s gearbox is being rebuilt, and I thought that
perhaps, with his Jaguar connections, he should start scouring the ads for
an alternative sidecar model, for Jaguar had quite humble beginnings as the Swallow sidecar and Coachbuilding Company before it gradually morphed into the prestigious car maker.

As Swallow, however, sidecars were the prime product from its formation in 1922, upon the 21st birthday of William Lyons (later Sir) and the older William Walmsley.

Commercial sidecar manufacture began in Blackpool, but just a few years later Swallow started making very pretty bodies for Austin Sevens, and the ‘sidecar’ part of the name was dropped.

Read more in November’s issue of OBM

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