In December 1934 a special issues of the popular journal The Motor Cycle was devoted to the theme of British Supremacy. The issue was a celebration of the ascendancy of the British motor-cycle industry over all international rivals. This supremacy was manifest, various articles in the issued claimed, in a number of ways. Not only were British motor-cycle companies producing more than anyone else but they were also represented as being ahead of all others in terms of design and workmanship. In the sporting field, especially British products were particularly successful, winning race after race, on both home and foreign tracks. This article examined whether Britain really deserves its reputation as the worlds' premier motor-cycle producer. It reviews the structure of the industry during the 1930s and provides a brief historical background of its growth. It also investigates the state of the major international competitors as well as the challenge that cheap, lightweight cars posed to the popularity of motorcycles on the home market. Finally, the article advances the argument that the way the motorcycle industry tried to cope with its underlying problems helped to determined its subsequent progress and formed the basis of the ultimate collapse several decades later.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Originally published in Journal of Transport History, 3rd series, vol. XVI, no. 1 (1995) pp. 55-76.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Ashgate Publishing Company

    110 Cherry Street, Suite 3-1
    Burlington, VT  United States  05401-3818
  • Authors:
    • Koerner, S
  • Publication Date: 1997


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00794162
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1859283454
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2000 12:00AM