1930 Sunbeam Model 90 factory racer lives again

I was very pleased to receive a phone call from VMCC OEC and Blackburne Marque Specialist Martin Shelley telling me that John Rooney’s Sunbeam Model 90 was up and running!

1930 Sunbeam Model 90 works race bike

There’s more information about this wonderful and possibly unique machine in an earlier post that you can view here. But since then, Chris Odling has worked his magic on the engine whilst Martin and John have worked on the rest of the bike. The guys have resisted the temptation to “restore” the bike and instead have strived to keep as much of the bike in as-found condition as possible. With original factory finish on many parts and many of the correct factory fasteners this bike could become a Rosetta Stone for the vintage Sunbeam enthusiast.

After evicting the mice and filling a few holes, even the original exhausts that are stamped with IOM ’30 S in reference to the 1930 Senior TT have been repaired and re-fitted.


There’s a short video here where you can see and hear the bike running. It does sound very different to my own 1930 Model 90 and seems to respond quicker to throttle and with less flywheel effect on the overrun.  I just can’t wait to see and hear the bike “in the metal”.


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