Scammell

Scammell began in the Victorian era, when the wheelwright, George Scammell of Spitalfields, London developed his business.

The outbreak of World War One presented itself as a turning point in road transport history.  Mechanical transport was seen to work and was proving its vast potential beyond doubt to such forward thinking companies such as Scammell.

By 1927, Scammell had strengthened their position by launching its first cross country vehicle, and in 1929, they introduced the articulated “hundred tonner”.

Scammell lorries were top of the range, expensive and built in small quantities.  The depression affected the firm badly and it was in a poor financial position by 1934.

During World War Two, Scammell made a massive contribution to the war effort by building large numbers of tank transporters, gun tractors and heavy recovery vehicles as well as fire pumps.

Membership of the Leyland Group in 1955 provided access to Leyland engines, gearboxes, and the company continued, but in February 1987 Scammell learned that the Leyland Group were being purchased by DAV BV of Holland.  By July 1988, their site and the Nubian ranges together with various rights were bought by Unipower Ltd. 

The History of the Motorcycle

There is some debate on what was the first motorcycle built.

Some claim that Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Mayback produced one in 1885, however if a two wheeled steam propulsion vehicle is considered a motorcycle, then the first one may well have been American, as one such manchine was built in 1867 by Sylvester Roper.

The first motorcycle available for purchase was in 1894 and was a Hildebrand & Wolf Muller.  Until World War One, the largest motorcycle manufacturer was Indian, but by 1920, the honour had transferred to Harley Davidson.  In 1927, DKW took over the title of largest manufacturer.

After World War Two, BSA became the largest producer, producing upto 75000 bikes each year in the fifties.  NSU then took the title from 1955 until the seventies.

In the fifties, streamlining began to play a big part of the development of racing bikes, and the fairing held out the possibility of radical changes to the bike design.  NSU and Moto-Guzzi were in the vanguard of this development, both produced radical designs, which were ahead of their time.  NSU produced the most advanced design, but following the death of four riders in the 54-56 seasons, they abandoned further development and quit Grand Prix racing.

Moto-Guzzi produced competitive race machines and by 1957, streamlined machines were winning nearly all of the GP races.  In 1958, full enclosure fairings were banned from racing by the FIM due to safety concerns.

From the sixties through to the ninties, small 2 stoke motorbikes were popular, partly because of Walter Kaaden’s engine work in the fifties.

Today, the Japanese mostly dominate the motorbike industry, although Harley and BMW continue to be popular and supply considerable markets, other manufacturers are starting to become popular.