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Homepage. This page: Photos featuring a well-used BSA 3-wheeler, during the 1950s.

1933 BSA three-wheeler (front wheel drive).

Fortunately, old photographs of very interesting cars continue to arrive via email. David's collection is just such an example. They all feature a characterful front-wheel-drive BSA three-wheeler, that he owned for a number of years in the 1950s. Purchased in 1954, the compact car took him holidaying around Europe, and it was on such excursions that a number of these images were captured for posterity. I'm very grateful to David for sending them over during 2015.
He's keen to get in touch with any other owners of the car who might be looking in. Does anyone recognise the BSA? Although it sounds like a long-shot, posting such a request on the site, it does sometimes yield results - take a look at the Morgan three-wheeler photo page to see an example. There, three separate owners (so far) of one particular featured car have been in touch, sending photos of the car during their period of ownership. It'd be great if the same could happen with David's old BSA (see updates below).
It was registered AGK 377, a London issue from 1933. David adds:
"I owned the illustrated 1933 BSA air-cooled twin 3-wheeler AGK 377 for a few years from 1954, during which time I rebuilt the engine and rear bodywork. I toured with it extensively, notably all round the edge of Scotland and to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Would very much like to contact any subsequent owner."
David and his "new" car are shown in the following photo, on their first drive out together in 1954.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
David's BSA in 1954
"My interest at this stage is purely sentimental. I am 82 and disability now prevents driving. AGK377 was my first car (after a Jeep with driver, thoughtfully provided for my use while with the army in Egypt). I have checked my facts: the BSA was purchased for 25 pounds in 1954, and sold 30,000 miles later in 1960 for 50 pounds (though largely re-built in the meantime). I have further pics if you are interested, including a good one with Stockholm town hall in background. On that particular tour, the car ascended the notorious Stalheim Cliff in Norway: then Europe's steepest road with 13 hairpins in 1.3 km at a minimum gradient of 1 in 5, unsurfaced and rated "extreme". At the time (1957) this road was the only way to reach Bergen from Oslo, but now is bypassed and open only for hikers on foot ... the rear bodywork visible in the photo was formed in duralumin, from a crashed WW2 US B24 bomber. I had rescued a few sheets from the wreck in 1946 thinking that one day they might be useful."
Here's the car, on its visit to Stockholm, Sweden:
1933 BSA three-wheeler in Stockholm
The location now switches to Lake Vattern, in Sweden. A group of youths stand alongside the BSA, after a top-up received from the 1950s Esso petrol pump. An earlier type of pump is also in shot.
The BSA at Lake Vattern, Sweden
In the third photograph, the BSA is shown poised to cross a particularly narrow-looking bridge.
Preparing to cross a narrow bridge
Next, a peek under the BSA's bonnet, at its 1021cc V-Twin engine. Of this motor, David adds: "... based on 1/3rd of a French 6-cylinder Hotchkiss WW1 aero-engine! VG torque ..."
The V-Twin engine fitted to the BSA
As David has already mentioned, he rebuilt the back end of the car's bodywork, using aluminium sourced at the crash site of a USAF B24 bomber. Very neat job sir! An equally venerable four-door saloon can just be seen in the background of this photo, perhaps a Morris 10/4?
Rebuilt rear bodywork
So, does BSA registration AGK 377 ring a bell with anybody? Interestingly, a check of the online DVLA service shows the (red) car as still being registered, albeit un-taxed at this time.

2016 news regarding David's old BSA.

Well, happily, the car does survive to this day, and is in the process of being restored. The current owner dropped me a line in 2015, and I was able to put him in touch with David, with a view to hopefully re-uniting the three-wheeler with its former owner. David takes up the story:
"You will recall my search for AGK 377, my first car purchased in 1954 when both car and I were 21. You kindly put me in contact with its present owner Ian, in Norfolk. We (Ian, me and the car) finally met up last week on 5 April 2016, just 3 days before the car's 83rd birthday. I attach two photos of me (also now 83) sitting once more in 'Bucephalus' that is undergoing a complete re-build in Ian's competent hands - see photo of its rolling chassis. I also attach a photo of the car on its first day out with me in 1954 (at the top of the page). Ian hopes to complete the re-build before too long, but first has two other projects to complete ..... let's hope I make it to the great day when the car runs again!"
That's great to hear, thanks for the latest update David. I'm glad that OCC aided your re-discovery of the venerable BSA. David is shown sat in the part-restored BSA, below.
David sat in his old car
The BSA's rolling chassis
David also sent over his memories of driving a 1909 Humber, borrowed from Lord Montagu of Beaulieu motor museum in 1959. He took part in the Daily Mail's Bleriot Memorial Race to Paris. The story of that run, and accompanying photographs, can now be found here: Bleriot Memorial 1959.
Return to Page 19 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index here.

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