1921 SCOTT SQUIRREL COMBI
Designed by A.A. Scott in 1908 and built by Yorkshire car-maker Jowett, of Bradford, then later in its own factory in nearby Shipley, the Scott motorcycle was unique with chain drive, telescopic front suspension, and water-cooled, two-stroke engine. The Scott was fast for its time and proved to be a highly successful pre-WW1 racing machine, ridden by two-wheel aces such as HS Meyers, Frank Phillips and Frank Applebee. Victory in the 1912 and 1913 TT races cemented the reputation of the early machines, which were initially of 333cc and 535cc capacity.
A two-speed gearbox incorporating two clutches that we might nowadays call ‘semi-automatic’, the luxury of a kick-start, and front suspension with a single spring in a tube and twin telescopic front forks, made the Scott a much sort-after machine.
Although A.A. Scott left the company after the First World War, the factory increased engine capacities during the 1920’s and 30’s to 496cc and 596cc with the ‘Flying Squirrel’ twins, but the introduction of a single cylinder engine proved to be less successful. The last ‘new’ machine from the factory was the 996cc, three-cylinder, water-cooled, two-stroke of 1934 but few were produced.
Production of the 596cc Flying Squirrel continued after the Second World War, but the original company went into liquidation in 1950 the assets being purchased by Matt Holder, of Birmingham, who still holds the name.
THE COLLECTION’S EXHIBIT
This 535cc 1920 machine is more heavily built than many Scotts, but still quirky and usually displayed with a Dorway sidecar made in Birmingham. When attached to the motorcycle it is designed to fold, enabling the combination to fit through a 30ins wide doorway, or to be taken around the narrow back alley common to many houses of the era.
The work undertaken to fully restore this Squirrel Combi has required many replacement parts to be hand-crafted as ‘new’ spares are now unattainable. New piston rings and gearbox bearings, for example, were made by Shuttleworth volunteers in the Old Warden workshop, whilst a complete replacement radiator – comprising no less than 870 individual brass tubes in a nickel plated brass casing with a header tank on top – was produced by a specialist.
Restoration also included shot blasting and painting the wheels (with new beaded-edge tyres), replacing cones and wheel spindles, with new steering head cups and front brake blocks also manufactured in the Shuttleworth workshop. ‘Shiny’ parts are newly nickel-plated, new cables are fitted and replacement transfers supplied by the Scott Owners Club.
Manufacturer: Scott Motorcycles, Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Model: Squirrel (plus Dorway sidecar)
Engine: 2cyl, water-cooled, two-stroke. 535cc
Top Speed: 60mph (solo) or 40mph with sidecar