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Sunbeam 500 cc model 9/90 Sport Hybrid 1930 A unique opportunity to acquire this very interesting period machine which , when discovered by the vendor, had clearly not been in use for a lengthy period. Although not a ‘barn find’ as such, this machine did need a fair amount of re-commissioning to bring it up to its current condition. Having owned several Sunbeams in the past, the vendor was aware that this machine was not original for the year, but appeared to have received some interesting upgrades and so went ahead with the purchase. But it wasn’t until he rode the machine, post re-commissioning, that he realised he had stumbled across something very special indeed. Setting out on its first post re-commissioning ride, it became apparent that this was a very well sorted machine, with a strong lively engine, lovely gearbox, sweet handling and noticeably more powerful than the vendor’s previous model ‘90’. The general spec is as follows:- The frame and wheels appear to be a Model ‘9’ of 1930 vintage and there is an original buff log book accompanying it. Fitted to the frame are the later (1931-on) ‘Castle’, single centre spring girder forks, which give far superior handling and compliance than the original ‘Druid’ type, originals. The engine and matching date stamped special carburettor, are of 1929 vintage Model ‘90’, with ‘hairpin’ valve springs and twin exhaust port head. The accompanying twin ‘shotgun’ pipes were unsilenced, but now contain discreet baffles, in order to humble some of the ‘machine gun’ bark that followed it down the road. The most interesting modification is the 4 speed positive stop close ratio gearbox, (1933 vintage), which transforms the riding experience quite literally. The original 3 speed ‘crash’ boxes are nothing short of dreadful and the gear change a horrible experience, but this 4 speed box – simply brilliant. And so, somebody, many years ago, had obviously gone to a great deal of trouble and no doubt expense, to achieve the result above, but why? A question that wasn’t answered until only a year ago, when two elderly Irish gentlemen at a show where the bike was being exhibited, spotting the ‘Dublin registration number’, came over and told the vendor of its likely history. Motorcycle racing in Ireland was very popular in the ‘30’s, during the run up to the 2nd world war – and Dublin had its own series. It is most likely that this machine was built and commissioned to compete in those races, since Sunbeam bikes were highly rated and the modifications carried out on this machine were synonymous with the competition bikes of the time. Fit the best and aim to win!