Today a little known company, but in the early 1900's Calthorpe Motor Cycle Company had an undisputed reputation for their motorcycles. George W. Hands opened Calthorpe in 1890, where he only sold bicycles at the time, much like many motorcycle manufacturers of the time period.
By 1910, Calthorpe had gotten involved in the production of motorcycles at first utilising, Precision or Jap engines but later they started to use Peco, Notorn-Villiers and Blackburne engines in their models.
During the war however, Calthorpe was unable to get a motorcycle contract with the government but did manage an arms contract where they managed to produce several thousand hand grenades under the name of Mark 5.
After the war however, Calthorpe was able to produce their own 350 cc engines which was released in their 1925 model motorcycles. Calthorpe also produced models with a 500 cc engine of their own design but due to high prices and bad design only 100 models with the 500 cc engine were ever produced and sold.
The late 1930's brought bad news for the Calthorpe Motor Cycle Company. With their motorcycle doing great throughout the early 30's their design quickly became out-dated and by 1938 Calthorpe was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Unlike many other well known motorcycle companies, Calthorpe did not receive any government assistance or mergers and had to close their doors. 1939 and 1945 brought around several attempts to re-establish the Calthorpe Motor Cycle Company but they were unsuccessful and the name Calthorpe and their motorcycles sank into the chronicles of time and eventually almost all information about the company and its motorcycles disappeared all together.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/06/2008