Stuart Turner enters Stellar bike in London to Brighton Pioneer Run

The veteran Stuart Stellar motorcycle and sidecar will take to the road once more in the 2016 London to Brighton, Pioneer Run. The Pioneer Run is open to motorcycles, tricycles or bike and sidecar that 'left the factory' before 1st January 1915, interestingly, machines manufactured after 1915 are known as 'vintage'. The Stuart Stellar was first launched by Stuart Turner at Olympia in November 1911 and garnered such interest that it went on sale through Nye & Co, who said of it at the time: "A particularly interesting machine and a pleasing departure from standard practice" and concluded with: 'Neatly and simply designed and manufactured by a firm of engineers of long experience." 

It is understood that the Stuart Stellar was attached to the Westminster Dragoons with an article from the 'Automobile Engineer' stating it "took part in the big combined army and territorial manoeuvres which surged up and down central England under the eye of our Minister for War, Winston Churchill. The Stellar and sidecar covered hundreds and hundreds of miles over all sorts of country carrying despatches, doctors, food and all sorts of things. Never once did it let us down." 

Over the years the one remaining Stuart Stellar has taken part in many rallies including the Inter-Club Hill Climb in Oxford and the Banbury Run until in 1968 it was retired and retained as a showpiece at the Stuart Turner offices in Henley-on- Thames. 18 months ago a dedicated crew of four; Brian Empsall, Anthony Barnard, Roger Powell and Bill Clark who rode the bike at various rallies in the 60's, began restoring this incredible 105 year old bike to full running order and entered it in the London to Brighton Pioneer Run. Taking place on the 20th March 2016, the run starts from Tattenham Corner in the Epsom Downs and finishes at Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront. More than 300 machines have entered the rally this year and Roger Powell, Business Development Manager for Stuart Turner remarked: "With all the experience of Brian Empsall at the wheel and the work we have all put in over the past months to ensure she is in good running order, I am confident that we will not only finish the rally but complete it in good time…watch this space!"

 

     Stellar Present Day   Stellar 

Stuart Stellar Bike Crew from left to right: Anthony Barnard, Roger Powell, Bill Clark and Brian Empsall. The second picture shows the bike in action and ridden by Herbert Sanderson in 1912

 

Written by Stuart Turner at 10:00

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