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New Hudson Autocycle from 1956, a motorized bike with Villiers 99cc engine, advertised as „the world's most economical riding”. New Hudson was bought by BSA in the end of WW2, and in 50s this machine was built by BSA in their factory at Armoury Road.

[img] New Hudson was a bicycle manufacturer formed in about 1890 by George Patterson in Birmingham. Patterson built his first powered machine in the 1903, using a Minerva engine (according to other sources, De Dijon). First New Hudson motorcycles weren't succesful and soon production was stopped. It was renewed in 1910, after the workshop was moved from Icknield Street to Summer Hill Street. In 1910 two models with JAP engines were offered. In 1911 the company started to make its own engine and after 1913 all New Hudson motorcycles were fitted with proprietary engines (later the company built some three-wheelers with MAG engines, too). New Hudson built mostly two-stroke engines, but in 1922 a four-stroke engine was added.


From 1910 to 1932, with the exception of the years 1915 to 1919 when munitions and bicycles only were made, motorcycle production averaged about 2000 each year. WW1 was hard on George Patterson; one of his sons was killed, and the other one lost his leg in the war. Shortly after the war Patterson decided to sell his business to H.J. Bructon, who continued motorcycle production until Great Recession years. The most succesful year for the company was 1927, when Jimmy Gurthie came second in Senior TT race, and Bert le Vack broke the 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) record at Brooklands on a 500 cc New Hudson. In 1932 production ceased: as a result of the recession, sales became no longer profitable. The company continued to make bicycles, and also diversified into making Girling brake systems for cars. In 1940 the bicycle factory began to produce an autocycle with a 98cc Villiers engine which was a success.

[img] The bicycle factory was purchased by BSA in 1943 (according to other sources, 1945) and production continued under the New Hudson name. The Girling brake factory passed into the ownership of Joseph Lucas. After the second World War, BSA. continued to make autocycles bearing the New Hudson name. In 1949 Autocycle was adjusted to use the Villiers F2 99cc engine, and in 1956 it was thoroughly modernised. The production lasted until 1958.

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[thumb:img_16.jpg] Advertisement in an English school magazine published in December 1944 (click to enlarge)