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Pre war Cruiser production numbers

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Pre war Cruiser production numbers

Post  fulmar88 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:33 pm

Someone was asking the other day how many Cruisers were made as there are 4 of us (at least) restoring them at the moment. I have viewed many records in the Coventry office looking for the original registration number for my bike. I have looked at every record for the year 1936. There were 5000 vehicles registered in that year. Of these just 83 were Francis Barnetts (registered in Coventry). 9 of these were first registered to Francis and Barnett Ltd. The difference in the frame number between the first and last for that year was 1767. So it can be assumed that FB were making roughly 35 bikes per week allowing for a couple of weeks shutdown.

If we discount the 9 F&B bikes that leaves 74. Of these remaining 74 roughly 37 were Cruisers (frame prefixes/models are not always stated and engine number prefixes were used by other models such as the Seagull but this is my best guess). Plotting the results shows a very gradually increasing production rate from earlier than, and post 1936.

Some assumptions: if Coventry was typical of the rest of the country then we might assume that half of all FB sales at this time were Cruisers. If this were so then allowing for a slow sales build up from introduction, and a reduction at the onset of the war, (say 6 years sales 1934-39 of 830 per year) then there could have been 5000 Cruisers made. Seems an awful lot but the Coventry numbers at least back it up.

I have checked the records for Warwick also which covered 3000 registrations. Vastly fewer Motorbikes compared to Coventry over the same period. There were 10 FBs of which 5 were Cruisers (proven). Difference in frame numbers suggest 34 bikes per week being made.

Additionally, the earliest frame number in my searches I have a date for is 29,817 (Feb 34). The latest 38,934 (Jul 39). A period of 5y 5m and 9,117 bikes (1683 per year, 34 per week).

The lack of raw materials probably hit sales hard as FB were unable to re-introduce the Cruiser post war. And, maybe the scrap value of all that tinware made them worth crushing ‘cos I can’t find any parts!

Steve.
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Pre war Cruiser Frame Numbers

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:51 pm

Hi Steve, I have some frame numbers for early Cruisers, the earliest is 1933, 26,838 but the lowest is 1935, 1568, that must be a mistake? the latest is 1939, 39,110. Mike


Last edited by MoscowFlyer on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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frame numbers

Post  piston 197 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:25 pm

I have a higher number KB40355 and a lowest number of CA26913 that backs up Mike's findings
JH
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Re: Pre war Cruiser production numbers

Post  fulmar88 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:18 am

piston 197 wrote:I have a higher number KB40355  and a lowest number of CA26913 that backs up Mike's findings
JH

If we assume 7.5 years between these numbers then that represents volume of 35 bikes per week so fits with the figures above. Even if only 4 in 10 were Cruisers then that represents approx. 5400 total made.

To give an idea of the sales of other FB models, during 1936 only 3 Stag / Red Stag bikes were registered in Coventry and 2 of these were registered to Francis & Barnett Ltd. Vastly fewer than the 37 Cruisers. In Warwick in 1936 there was only 1 Stag / Red Stag registered.

Steve.
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Re: Pre war Cruiser production numbers

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