Lot 315 - 1961 Greeves Sports Twin 32DC
|Odometer reading||55,247 miles|
|Estimate||£2,500 - £3,000|
|Result||Sold - £4,200|
The company founded by Bert Greeves ,MBE soon after WW2 was the same Invacar company that won a major contract to provide motorised, three-wheeled, invalid carriage vehicles to the UK Government Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. The invalid carriages sold well and established a firm foundation for the factory, based in Essex. The factory possessed its own foundry and very soon, became expert in the new technology of fibreglass moulding. The invalid cars featured some innovative designs, notably suspension by rubber bushes that acted as self-damping springs when twisted.
As a keen trials rider, Bert Greeves soon indulged his interest and started to build motorcycles for trials and scrambles, and in 1954, a roadster joined the range. Using Villiers or British Anzani engines, and suspension based on the invalid cars' rubber units, the frames illustrated another Greeves innovation. In place of the normal tubular front section and steering head was a single enormously strong aluminium alloy H-section beam.
Roadster production centred on a range of modest 250 and 325cc lightweight twins. By the 1960s, the Sports Twins had become probably the best of their kind, thanks to Greeves handling and quality build. An indication of the regard in which they were held was their adoption as police bikes.
In 1960, Sales Manager Derry Preston Cobb conceived a publicity stunt for the latest Greeves roadsters, in which TV actor and motorcycle enthusiast, Richard Wyler (famed for the TV Series The Man from Interpol) and road racer Joe Dunphy, would tour as many European cities as possible in eight days, on the bikes provided by Greeves. A brand new 32DC, 171 VEV, was taken off the production line to join the press 32DC, 950 UNO, for the trip. Despite some mishaps the trip was successfully completed and was featured in the March 23rd and 30th editions of Motor Cycling.
After the trip, 171 VEV was retained by the factory as Bert Greeves' personal machine and was used to try out developments as they came along, which explains why the bike is fitted with some later fibreglass parts. These are however very much a part of the bike's history and the vendor has resisted restoring the bike to standard form because of that.
171 VEV has been part of a large collection of British two stroke machines for the past thirty years and comes with; V5, the original log book (showing Invacar Ltd as first owner) and various documents confirming its identity. The vendor informs us the Greeves is in sound running condition though it would now benefit from some light renovation. This Greeves Sports Twin represents a rare opportunity to purchase a fine British lightweight with a unique history.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.