Sunbeam 1935 “Model 95L Special” 493 cc OHV Racer frame # D 12090 engine # 95 L 495.4.1433
The Model 90 first appeared in the firm’s catalogues for the 1927 season.
Sunbeam had tried to develop an OHC racer but that proved to be unsuccessful: the camshaft Sunbeam that appeared in 1925 was seriously lacking in torque and power because of problems with valve timing.
Factories like Velocette and Norton decided to carry on experimenting and finally got the knack, but Sunbeam returned to the pushrods.
The factory turned to advice to Harry Weslake, who discovered the importance of the right shape of port and the optimum direction of gas flow.
On this then new technology Harry Weslake built a career as an engine consultant- the splendid XK Jaguar engine was one result, the excellent reputation of the Model 90 another.
The engine was internally much different from the standard machines, with highly polished I-section conrod, 7.5 : 1 piston running in a special machined barrel.
The head had enormous port finning and hairpin valve springs.
The model 90 was very successful in racing for a number of years.
For 1934 a successor was presented, the Model 95.
Production of the M 95 ended in 1935.
In the course of its racing career this Model 95 - as most racing machines - has been modified by fitting a lighter Model 9 frame to save weight.
The parts and fittings are thought to be period Sunbeam, including the positive stop foot gear change.
It has been well put together, is a fine “looker”, runs well and has a great sound!