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Berkeley Cars
Lawrie Bond had taken Sharps Commercials into manufacturing his 3-wheeler design as the Bond Minicar and he performed a similar thing with Berkeley Coachworks in Biggleswade. Berkeleys were generally built as 4-wheel open sports cars, and they were powered by motorcycle engines which drove through chains to a differential and gearbox to the front wheels. The first model had a 322cc 2-stroke twin cylinder engine and was launched at the 1956 London Motor Show. In January 1957 a new SE328 model was launched with a 328cc Excelsior engine. Later that year the SE492 model was introduced, now having a 492cc Excelsior 3-cylinder engine with a 4-speed gearbox. A new 'Foursome' body gave 2 little seats in the rear of the car. The 3-cylinder engine cause failures because of heat build up and the warranty claims took down profits. The next model of Berkeley from 1959 was given Royal Enfield twin cylinder 4-stroke engines which offered more power and less faults than the 3-cylinder 2-stroke. This B95 offered 40bhp, or 50bhp in the tuned B105 version. A 3-wheeler Berkeley was launched as the T60 in September 1959 with the 328cc Excelsior Talisman engine. The T60 was popular in Britain where its 3 wheels gave it tax and licensing advantages the same as for motorcycles. Although a prototype 'Bandit' sports car was built using a Ford Anglia engine, this did not proceed into production as Berkely collapsed in 1960 partly because the Caravan market went into decline.
aa_Berkeley B95 badge
Berkeley B95 - badge on bonnet. Berkeley were already established as a manufacturer of Caravans prior to their joint venture with Laurie Bond.
ac_Berkeley B105 1960 head
Berkeley B105 1960. The rather unaerodynamic front and tall grille was forced upon the body by the height of the front-mounted Royal Enfield 700cc twin.
ac_Berkeley B95 head
Berkeley B95. The tall grille was needed on the B95 because of the height of the Royal Enfield 4-stroke twin cylinder 692cc engine which drove the front wheels via a double chain to the differential and gearbox. The B95 used the Royal Enfield 40bhp Super Meteor engine and the B105 used the 50bhp Constellation engine.
ac_Berkeley T60 1960 head
Berkeley T60 1960, powered by a 328cc Excelsior Talisman 2-stroke twin cylinder engine driving through chains to the front wheels
Berkeley B105 1960 front
Berkeley B105 1960. Powered by the same 700cc Royal Enfield Constellation 700cc 4-stroke twin as the B95, but tuned to give 50bhp in the B105
Berkeley B105 1960 rear
Berkeley B105 1960 - Hardtops were optional on Berkeleys
Berkeley B95 front
Berkeley B95. Powered by a tall 692cc Royal Enfield engine, hence the high grille, the B95 offered 40bhp, whereas the B105 engine gave 50bhp and reputedly could achieve 100mph
Berkeley B95 rear
Berkeley B95. The Berkeley had a very simple 2-seater body made in fibreglass, a material that Berkeley Caravans had a lot of experience with.
Berkeley SE492 Foursome front
Berkeley SE492 Foursome. A new 3-cylinder Excelsior engine gave more power and allowed for a more streamlined body shape.
Berkeley SE492 Foursome rear
Berkeley SE492 Foursome. The Foursome was introduced with a wider and longer body to accommodate a set of rear seats. Small cars from the likes of Austin, Ford, Morris, Standard were becoming cheaper and the makers of Microcars needed to provide more and provide better to compete.
Berkeley T60 1960 front
Berkeley T60. With prices of the more powerful Berkeley 4-wheelers increasing and becoming poor value compared to the Mini and other small cars, Berkeley went back to basics and launched the T60 in 1959 as a 3-wheeler. In Britain there were tax and licensing advantages to 3-wheelers which enabled them to be driven on motorcycle licenses.
Berkeley T60 1960 hardtop rear
Berkeley T60 1960. Berkeleys were offered with hardtops from the first production.
Berkeley T60 1960 rear
Berkeley T60. Launched in 1959, the Berkeley T60 rolled back some of the advances made since the SE328 of 1957 to create a less powerful and cheaper car. But the biggest change was the removal of the rear wheels and replacement by single rear wheel on a trailing arm.
e_Berkeley B95 engine
Berkeley B95. Powered by a Royal Enfield Constellation 700cc 4-stroke twin engine driving the front wheels via a chain drive.
e_Berkeley SE492 engine
Berkeley SE492 Foursome. This is the 492cc Excelsior 3-cylinder 2-stroke engine given to the SE492cc Berkeleys; essentially it was a 3-cylinder version of the 328cc unit. However, the engine was unreliable owing to heat build up.
i_Berkeley T60 1960 interior
Berkeley T60 1960 - interior
Lawrence 'Lawrie' Bond
Berkeley Coachworks
Berkeley Coachwork
key text:  This is the page introducing Simons love of cars from the website  RedSimon which is a series of photo albums of Simon GP Geoghegan.
The names of Pinin, Farina, and Pininfarina are also considered
There are also notes on Pininfarina
as well as the car maker
and links tothat car maker
see also my Picasa car albums
withe even more on RedSimon
Simon is also a contributor to SuperCars.Net
And also to Wikipedia
Photos may be purchased from PhotoBox