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Object of the Fortnight - 1927 Rudge Combination

13 February 2012

On the 2nd of July 1928, Stanley Glanfield embarked on a world tour, on his Coventry-built 499cc Rudge motorcycle combination. The journey was to take him just 8 months - covering 18,000 miles, passing through some 16 countries and crossing 4 continents.

To attempt a trip such as this today would be quite an accomplishment, but to have succeeded in 1928 when machinery was less reliable; roads – where existing – were badly maintained; spares were almost nonexistent; and fuel supplies were sporadic, is nothing short of an achievement of epic proportions.

By the time this motorcycle was built, Rudge were in their manufacturing prime with healthy sales and many successes on the racing circuit. The publicity that was to surround Stanley Glanfield's triumphant journey would signal continuing success.

The sidecar is specially fitted out to carry spares and provisions, and its panels display the route that was followed. The identification plate on the front mudguard is for custom purposes and the complete machine has been retained in its ‘World Tour’ condition for display.

This motorcycle was very generously donated to the Museum by Stanley Glanfield himself in 1967, and has taken pride of place ever since.


See previous Objects of the Fortnight on our Facebook page.

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