Lot 139 - 1957 Berkeley SE328 Sport
|Odometer reading||35,292 miles|
|Result||Sold - £4,256|
Berkeley Cars were produced between October 1956 and December 1960 by Berkeley Coachworks at their Hitchin Street, Biggleswade factory. Designed by Laurie Bond of Minicar fame, the original Berkeley Sports was a lightweight two-seater sports car powered by a 322cc Anzani two-stroke twin.
The Berkeley unit was fitted with 12 volt electrics; a three-speed and reverse gearbox was later replaced with a four-speed and reverse Albion gearbox. The car was unique at its time of launch in that it employed, not only a transverse engine driving the front wheels, but a complete fibreglass monocoque chassis reinforced locally by lightweight aluminium sections. This provided the car with a maintenance free (no rust) chassis of immense strength and very low weight.
Throughout their short career, Berkeley's built up an enviable reputation in the field of competition. With superb brakes, leech-like road holding and immense bags of 'chuckability', what they lost on the straight, they soon made up on the corners.
This car was manufactured in 1957 at the height of the bubble-car rage when many micro-cars were produced using small motor cycle engines; chassis 248 was in one of the first batch produced. Originally built with a three-speed column gear change and an Excelsior engine, it was modified in factory to floor change and, more recently, the Excelsior engine has been 'blue-printed'; it also benefits from new bearings, a ported barrels and new rear shock-absorbers. Purchased by the present owner in 1981 and completely rebuilt, this charming example comes with an extensive history file and enormous smile-factor!
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.