1925 Carfield Model AC3 – The Carfield Baby’
147cc Twin-port Villiers Engine
Brampton Double Girder Biflex Forks
Leatheries 12″ Large Pan Seat Saddle
Frame No 4504
Engine No BZ274
Recently Restored, New MOT,
One of eight examples of the ‘Carfield Baby’ to have survived, this rare motorcycle was recently restored.
The 147cc twin-port Villiers engine is in good condition, and the tank has been restored. It’s ready to ride and to display.
Whereas other small motorcycles skimped on quality to keep the price down, the Carfield Baby was an upmarket model of its day. It was fitted with the best components, such as the superb Brampton Double Girder Biflex Forks and a Leatheries 12″ Large Pan Seat Saddle. These expensive fittings suggested a miniature version of the top 500cc machines of the time. There is only one brake, with both the handlebar brake lever and the footbrake lever operating the rear brake.
Further down the page you can see details of the engine, including the petrol and oil filler caps. The brass petrol cap would be removed and held inverted under the oil tap, to be filled to a regulated amount to add to the petrol tank for the correct petrol-oil mix. The oil tank was therefore simply a reservoir; but separate petrol and oil compartments mimicked larger four-stroke motorcycles and added to the overall impression of a miniature version of a 500c machine.
I sold the Carfield in 2013.
Windmill Lane, Smethwick, Birmingham
After WW1 there was great demand for cheap two-stroke motorcycles. Mr Carter and Mr Fielding pooled their talents to found the Carfield Motor Co in 1919, offering a range of upmarket two-strokes using Villiers, Blackburne, JAP and Coventry Victor engines in frames of their own design. ‘The Baby,’ which was announced in 1923, was their best known model.
The 1923/1924 model was a belt-drive with two-speed Albion gearbox, and it quickly made a name for itself when Bruce Carter, director of the company, rode one to a Bronze Medal in the 1923 Scottish Six Days Trial of that year, covering over 1,000 miles in arduous conditions with few problems.This model is fitted with the optional kick starter which added £2 to the list price of £30 when new.
This chain-driven ‘Baby’ was added to the range in 1925, although the earlier belt-drive was available too. By the end of the decade there were too many motorcycle manufacturers offering similar machines, and sales fell. The company ended production in 1928. It is believed that eight examples of the Carfield Baby still survive.
LEATHERIES ‘MODEL 124′ LARGE PAN SEAT SADDLE
Leatheries were one of Brooks’ main competitors in the 1920s, and Brooks eventually took over Leatheries in the 1930s. You can see the Leatheries factory at work in the illustration below.
The petrol filler cap is held under the oil tap (in the photo above) to be filled to the required amount to add to the petrol tank.