Rex 1907 “ 5 ½ h.p. Twin Rex de Luxe” 650 cc side valve V-twin frame and engine # 313
Rex was one of the first and foremost manufacturers of motorcycles in Britain.
Their advertising slogan read “ The King of British motors”, and the firm was a true market leader in design and development.
From 1902 the engine was positioned vertically in the frame, and all parts were made – so claimed the makers- at their own works.
At the 1904 Show no less than 50 Rex machines were on display!
In 1905 a mechanical exhaust valve was adopted and a Longuemare spray carburettor replaced the surface device.
A full two year guarantee on every Rex showed the confidence the makers had in their products.
In the same year a V- twin model was marketed and a year later a unique spring fork was added. In these years also numerous forecar designs were brought out, such as the Tricar and the Rexette.
Some interesting features of this rare machine are the Roc free engine Clutch, the patent cradle engine mounting, the Rex patent spring fork and the sprung seat post.
And then there is “….. probably the greatest stride ever made towards an ideal two-wheeler” – as the 1907 catalogue put it – The Rex patented twin tyres!
The catalogue is very clear about its advantages: “ This wheel should give confidence to the most nervous.
Complicated and expensive non-skids are dispensed with.
In case of a puncture the rider can continue the journey without the inconvenience of an immediate repair.”
All machines had Bosch magnetos and dropped top tube frames, a feature that most other makes adopted only some 5 or 6 years later. Harold Williams (sales manager) and his brother Billy (managing director) had been with Rex from the early years and their advertising talents and salesmanship had made a profound effect on the company’s success.
In 1910 the brothers both left the firm after a boardroom row and with them went a lot of the company’s prestige.
Billy Williams developed his own brand of motorcycle, the Williamson, powered by a specially made water-cooled Douglas flat twin.
Rex production soldiered on till the outbreak of World War one.
After the war Rex had a few very difficult years till the company amalgamated with the Acme firm.
The Rex-Acme machines soon became famous in races. In 1933 production stopped.
Detailed information about veteran Rexes can be found in Jamie Dee’s articles on the make in “Old Bike” magazines 9 & 10.
This rare Rex is an older restoration with Pioneer Certificate.