Chater-Lea 1903 “Model No. 1“ ca 269 cc 2 HP Minerva AIV frame # CL 185 engine # 4470
Founded in 1890 , Chater-Lea turned to the manufacture of lugs and fittings for cycle and motorcycle frames around 1900.
Incorporated that same year as the Chater -Lea Manufacturing Company Limited, the firm was soon supplying its high-quality products to the greater part of the emerging British motorcycle industry.
The manufacture of components soon led to the supply of entire frames and, in 1903, the firm offered its first complete motorcycle.
However, the company advertised as early as March 1902 Minerva-engined motorcycles built from Chater-Lea fittings and this rare veteran must be one of the earliest survivors.
It was purchased in the early sixties as a complete, unrestored machine but it was only in the early nineties that the then owner took up the restoration.
This, apart from repainting an renickeling, mainly involved the replacement of the collapsed front rim, overhauling the little Minerva engine and carburettor and restoring the mudguards.
These are rather special, as they do not have wired edges but rolled dimples towards the edges to provide strength.
The carburetor is a French Longuemare and the exhaust goes back over the engine and ends in a pepper pot on the seat tube.
A letter on file from East Sussex County Council states that ‘AP 1030’ was allocated to John Augustus Rolls of the Royal George Hotel, Hurst Green for a 2¾hp Minerva on 2nd August 1907.
This delightful Veteran lightweight is offered with Pioneer Certificate No. 1610.