Berkeley Cars Ltd.
Biggleswade , England , United Kingdom
The key people
Charles Panter, Lawrie Bond
SA322, SE328, SE492, T60, B95, B105
Berkeley Cars Ltd / b ɑr k l i ː / of Biggleswade , Bedfordshire , England produced sports economic microcar with motorcycle engines derived from 322 cc to 692 cc and front wheel drive between 1956 and 1960.
The car Berkeley was a collaboration between designer Lawrence Bond "Lawrie" and the factory of Berkeley Coachworks owned by Charles Panter, which at the time was one of the largest manufacturers of caravans in Europe. It was an ideal project for Berkeley, who had developed considerable skill in the use of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), and were looking for something to fill the gaps in the market caravan very seasonal. What Panter and Bond wanted to achieve was "something good enough to win races 750cc World ... but cheap, safe, easy to repair and pretty."
The first cars were an immediate success in the national market, and several derivative models were generated during the four years of the production of cars. The export markets, mainly in the united States, were exploited and the cars gained a reputation for fun, although fragile, sporty driving on a budget. Recognizing the threat posed by the newly introduced Mini and Austin-Healey Sprite in the late fifties, the company started to develop are a more conventional, with the support of Ford .
The caravan market collapsed in the late 1960s, and the poor of Berkeley cash flow forced the company into liquidation on 12 December 1960, taking its activities of manufacturing of cars with him. After you have produced about 4,100 cars of various types, the work force was laid off shortly before Christmas of that year. An attempt of sale of the company to the advertising of Sharp Ltd (manufacturer of the Bond Minicar ) came to nothing, and the company's assets were liquidated in 1961.
The factory was used after by Kayser Bondor Ltd to make the undergarments of women, but it was demolished in 2002 and the site returned to the housing. A road named 'Berkeley Close' in the urbanisation offers the only obvious relationship with the automobile factory.
Today there is a club of an owner's asset (the Club of Enthusiasts of Berkeley '), which provides a wide range of parts and services aimed to preserve the few hundreds of cars that were known to survive in the world.
Berkeley T60 / 4
Body and chassis
328 cc transverse two stroke twin, air-cooled
122,5 (3110 mm)
The T60 / 4 was produced from October 1960 and are mechanically and outwardly similar to the end of the T60. It was the same length and width as the T60 standard, but differed in having more space in the rear for two seats, the extra space that is created by a moulding of rear bodywork revised, thus creating suitable positions in the rear for two children. The rear seat is attached to the car and the center back had a bulge in it due to the passage of rear wheel revised. The car was available in two forms hardtop soft top and. These cars are the designs of the front and rear suspension revised used in the very late of the T60.
The T60 / 4 had their own series of numbers chassis, the prefix "T60.4" and followed by a serial number. Around 50 were made.
Both variants of the T60 were in production at the time the company was declared insolvent in December 1960.
In the 1980s a new company was formed in Syston , Leicestershire, to restore Berkeley cars. In 1991 was the use of the molds original make new body panels and in 1993 the cars complete T60 were doing it with a new chassis type ladder. A range of engines available including Mini , Citroen 2CV and units of motorcycles.
At the end of 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand to a few cars called the 'Ibis Berkeley were made which paid homage to the Berkeley but using Mini subframes front and rear and a monocoque fiber glass 6-inch wider. Sold as units of full-body to accept Mini parts by Ian Byrd and Tim Monck Mason-they were small cars that use carbon fiber and the beams of foam. This later became the WASP, more like a Cobra reduced.
There was another, the company is not related drive, Berkeley, in the United Kingdom.
This society was about 18 cars hp in 1913. The engine was quoted as a unit cc 75x100, 1764, of unknown origin. Little else is known of them.
No customer reviews for the moment.