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Berkeley - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Berkeley cars

There were two manufacturers of British Berkeley cars.

History

Berkeley (1) The first company made some 18 hp cars in 1913. The engine was quoted as a 75x100, 1764 cc unit of unknown origin. Little else is known of them.

Berkeley (2) The second was Berkeley Cars Ltd of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, who produced small cars with engines from 322 cc to 700 cc between 1956 and 1960. The company produced designs by Laurie Bond in the Berkeley caravan factory owned by Charles Panter. Four models were made. Production stopped in 1960 and an attempted merger with Bond Cars come to nothing. The factory was later used by Kayser Bondor to make women's underwear, but it has now been demolished and the site turned over to housing.

Models

Sports SA322, SE328 and B65

A glass-fibre monocoque, two-seater open tourer initially powered by an Anzani twin-cylinder 322 cc two-stroke engine producing 15 bhp. It was mounted transversely and drive the front wheels via a chain. The car had all round independent suspension by coil springs and in spite of the tiny engine gave remarkably good performance owing to its light weight (600 pounds - about 270 kg) and excellent roadholding. After 146 of the SA322 cars were made a change was made to the SA328 model with a 328 cc Excelsior engine offering 18 bhp. About 1300 were made, many being exported to the United States. The last 10 cars were known as B65 and had a strengthened body. Top speed was just over 60 mph.

Sports SE492 and Foursome

For 1957 the engine was changed to a 30 bhp, Excelsior three-cylinder 492 cc with three carburettors. A Foursome four seater was now available in a slightly wider body and a closed coupé version was also made. Top speed was now 80mph. Over 650 of the two seater and 16 four seaters were made.

Sports B95 and B105

In 1959 the cars got more power, from twin-cylinder Royal Enfield 692 cc four-stroke engines, with 40 bhp in the B95 and 50 bhp in the twin-carburettor B105. The B105 could exceed the magic 100 mph. About 200 B95 and B105 models were made, half being exported.

In October 1959 the Q range was announced, with longer and wider bodies. The wheelbase went up from 70 inches to 78 and the track from 42 inches to 46. The Qs were four seaters (just), although the QB version dispensed with the rear seat to give extra luggage space. Very few of the Q cars were made.

Sports T60 and T60-4

The 1959 T60 was intended as a more basic model and was a three wheeler using the Excelsior "Talisman Twin" 328 cc engine seen in the SE328. Drive was still to the front wheels through a four speed gearbox and a trailing arm replaced the swing axle independent suspension of the four wheeled cars. The T60-4 had a larger rear seat and, together with other three wheelers of the era could legally be driven on a motor cycle licence in the UK, so was suitable for a motor cyclist with family. Another advantage was that the registration fees for three wheelers were considerably less than four wheeled vehicles. Just over 1800 were made.

Bandit

For 1960 the intention was to move into the larger, four-wheeled car market with the Bandit. This was to be powered by the 997 cc Ford engine (as in the 105E Anglia) but the project did not progress beyond the single prototype (which still exists).

List of all Berkeley cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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