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Sunbeam 1939

[img] Sunbeam B23 250 OHV. This is 477th of a total of 650 manufactured. Production lasted only one year, it came to an end with the war. Compare: Sunbeam 1928

“B” series, new line of Sunbeam OHV machines, was presented at the end of 1938. It included 250cc, 350cc, 500cc and 600cc models. They were also catalogued for 1940, but early in that year AMC (the owner of the brand) needed its full capacity to produce Matchless G3 army models. Sunbeam tools and production lines were dismantled and never used again.

"The best years of Sunbeam were in their early history. They built up a tremendous reputation for quality and finish and this was to lead eventually to the downfall of the firm. By 1928 Sunbeam had become part of the ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) combine but did not add very much to group profits so in came the accountants and much of the tradition had to go. More parts were bought in and slowly some of the quality began to evaporate. However, the Model 90 of 493cc was still based on the 1929 TT winning machine and had an enthusiastic following and was superseded in 1933 by the model 95. This was to racing specification and not of much use as a roadster but it was revised in 1935 to provide the 95R racing model and the 95L (for lightning) sports machine. The range was still providing too much value for money to suit ICI and in 1937 the business was sold to the AJS/Matchless combine ti form Associated Motor Cycles. Sunbeam production at Woolwich came to an end with the war and in 1943 the name was sold to BSA. " from