Neracar 1922 “Model A” 221 cc two stroke Frame # 2402 engine # 1681
This out-of-the-box design was the brainchild of American Carl A.
Neracher. He figured that a motorcycle should be clean, easy to operate, stable, comfortable and reliable.
He came up with an unusual machine that was constructed more like a car than like a motorcycle; it had no frame but a chassis made of beams, 221 cc two stroke engine, friction drive with a selection of 5 speeds and hub-centre steering. This rather unique means of transport was aptly named the Ner-a-Car.
First the British market got its own Neracar: In 1919 Neracher signed an agreement with the British Sheffield Simplex firm to produce the Neracar for England and its Colonies, excepting Canada. Production started in 1921.
Having found financial support in the USA as well, the Ner-a-Car Corporation started production in Syracuse, N.Y. in 1922.
In November 1922 Cannonball Baker rode a Neracar from New York to Los Angeles, a distance of 5420 kilometres.
He averaged 30 km/h and used 2.7 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres. In less than 8 days he spent 179 hours in the saddle. US inland sales would prove to be limited but in many countries there was a lot of interest in this new design and thousands of machines were exported.
In 1923 the model B with larger front mudguard and 285 cc engine was brought out in England. A year later the model C came out, powered by a 350 cc Blackburne engine and fitted with a conventional clutch and gearbox.
In 1924 the American Neracar saw its engine capacity increase to 255 cc.
These engines usually carry a “B” prefix.
In 1927 the curtain fell for the British Neracar, a year later the last machine left the Syracuse factory.
It takes some detail knowledge to distinguish USA models from GB models; an easy “at first sight” item seems that American models had the front coil springs under an angle, while the British were mounted vertically.
The machine on offer here is a British model that was first registered on October 9, 1922.
She’s in exceptionally good mechanical condition.
There’s no wear distinguishable in the steering system and some items that are usually missing are still present here, notable the metal protection sheet under the engine and the little petrol collection tray under the carb.
The machine is fitted with both electrical and acetylene lighting and a claxon horn from the “Metallic Presswork Co. Birmingham” is fitted.
The tax disc holder displays a 1929 disc, at which time, according to the old log book, the machine was owned by a Miss Alice F. Webb from Kingsholme, Colyford in Devon.
More Neracar information can be found on Ken and Martin Philp’s website: https://sites.google.com/site/martinphilp2/home/history
The Vintagent describes the model’s history and rides one at Monthlery: https://thevintagent.com/2018/01/30/road-test-1923-ner-a-car/