HRD Motors was founded in September of 1924 by Howard Raymond Davies and E.J. Massey. Howard Raymond Davies who had previously been a tester for the Sunbeam Motorcycle Company, and who had also been a very popular racer in his time had been thinking about the production of his own motorcycles throughout his many Isle of Man TT competitions. It wasn't until Davies joined forces with Massey, that he was able to form H.R.D, which was based on his own initials.
Massey had some history already in the production of his own motorcycles when he produced his Massey-Aran Motorcycles in Birmingham prior to the First World War.
The first HRD Motors manufacturing facility was located in Heath Town, where both Davies and Massey opened up shop with £3,000 in capital. HRD's plans were simple; they planned on producing a small number of competitive priced higher class motorcycles utilising the best and lightest of materials in every inch of their motorcycles.
With only a short period of time and a motorcycle that was only drawn on paper, both Massey and Davies recruited the assistance of Albert Clark whose father had owned Cogent Cycles. The motorcycles were built in time and shown featuring a healthy ground clearance, under slung handlebars and a massive steering head. The original 4 motorcycles produced for their showing featured a beautiful black paint job with gold lines and became an instant hit.
HRD first started to sell their motorcycles in 1925, where most of their models were sold for competition uses and by May of that same year HRD had already sold over 60 motorcycles. Davies also entered himself on an HRD motorcycle in their 4th Isle of Man TT where he won the race in just under three and a half hours at an average speed of just over 66 miles per hour.
Over the next few years, orders for an HRD motorcycle increased due to the successful finishes at the Isle of Man TT as well as other major events. HRD was forced to upgrade to a larger shop, so they moved into a 12,000 square foot factory but due to a consistent lack of money this factory was never filled.
Well into the mid 1920's, HRD's sales continued to increase to the point that they were producing over 250 machines a year. With the sales on the increase, HRD still did not seem to make any profits even though HRD added a sidecar to their line-up the following year.
In 1928, due to an inability to make profits regardless of the sales, HRD was forced into voluntary liquidation. Of the some 500 HRD motorcycles produced during their 4 year history from 1924 to 1928 only 18 motorcycles are believed to still be in existence.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 03/06/2008