c.1935 New Hudson ‘Imperial’ light roadster
Formerly Hudson, Edmonds & Co., the New Hudson Cycle Mfg. Co. Ltd commenced trading from January 1894 at Sheepcote Street, then from 1895, at Summer Hill Street, Birmingham.
New Hudson introduced a low priced bicycle in 1898 following the introduction of automatic machinery at its plant that year, a practiced that it continued which ensured its survival. Early company literature claimed: “The introduction of the New Hudson cycles inaugurated an entire revolution in the cycle trade. Really first class cycles at a moderate price.”
The heraldic crest to the Birmingham coat of arms was a mural crown, in the form of masonry, with a dextered arm elbowed wielding a hammer rising from the top. This was adopted as the New Hudson badge.
The company also made motorcycles and 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. The bicycle factory was purchased by B.S.A. in 1943 and production continued under the New Hudson name. The Girling brake factory passed into the ownership of Joseph Lucas. After the Second World War, B.S.A. continued to make autocycles bearing the New Hudson name until 1957.
The Collection’s exhibit
Originally thought to be dated from 1940, further research indicates this machine is most likely earlier at c.1935. This is a low-built sporting roadster, Model G3, with a lighter build than the regular roadster.
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