Home WORLD Calthorpe Ivory Major 1934 500cc One Cylinder

Calthorpe Ivory Major 1934 500cc One Cylinder


Now, here is a chance to view this rare 500cc ohv vintage motorcycle. It´s equipped with a Amal carburetor, complete electrical lighting system, Terry seat, Burman 4 speed box and a magneto ignition made by BTH. This bike is one of only 32 known surviving Ivory Major M1 models. This Calthorpe has been restored some years ago.

source.image: classic-motorcycle.com

Manufactured by the Minstrel & Rea Cycle Company, of Birmingham, the first Calthorpe motorcycle appeared in 1909 powered by a 3.5hp White & Poppe engine. The following year there were no fewer than six Calthorpe models displayed at the Motor Cycle Show at Olympia, some of which featured an ‘free’ engine clutch and two-speed gear. Precision-engined models, including a 5/6hp v-twin, joined the line-up a few years later together with an overhead-valve ‘Tourist Trophy’ model.

By 1919 the range had shrunk to just two lightweight models: a 293cc JAP and a Peco-powered two-stroke. In 1928 the first of the famous ‘Ivory’ Calthorpes appeared, so called because of its distinctive finish to fuel tank and mudguards. By 1930 the Ivory had gained a new 350cc overhead-valve inclined engine with twin-port cylinder head. Two new Ivories were added for 1932: a 250cc two-stroke with Villiers-based engine – the Ivory Minor – and a 494cc version of the ohv model.


The Minor lasted for little more than a season before the Calthorpe range was reduced to just the 494cc Ivory Major. The Minor was revived in 1934, but this time with a 250cc four-stroke engine, while the 350 returned for 1935 as the Ivory Junior. South London dealers Pride & Clarke held exclusive sales rights to the range for 1937 but Calthorpe would not survive for much longer, going into receivership in 1938. The brand was revived briefly post-war by DMW, though production machines used the latter’s name only.