The legendary Harry Weslake in 1925: note his double-breasted suit, fedora, pocket square, and member’s badge on the lapel – for all-access at the Brooklands racetrack.  Weslake worked for Sunbeam at this time, developing their engines with the radical gas-flow testing technology he’d invented.  Weslake is standing with factory Sunbeam racer Gordon Cobbold, who is of course in full racing leathers, but is wearing a white shirt and tie underneath, as was typical in the 1920s.

Harry Weslake and Gordon Cobbold in 1927. [The Vintagent Archive]

The racer has an unusual single-port OHV motor – unusual for Sunbeam anyway, as their typical racing bikes used twin exhaust ports and mufflers, even thought they had a single exhaust valve.  That was the fashion in the 1920s, but Weslake proved on the test bench and on the racetrack that a single port motor made more power.  Sunbeam didn’t take him up on his findings, and kept building twin-port racers and roadsters.

Harry Weslake at Brooklands, again with Gordon Cobbold on a factory Sunbeam, likely 1926. [Stilltime Collection]




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