Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,470 pages of information and 233,895 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Scott Motor Cycle Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
September 1911
1913. 500cc TT Model. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1913. 500cc TT Model. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1914. 532cc. Exhibit at Glasgow Museum of Transport.
1914. 3.75 h.p. 532cc. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
December 1919
January 1930.
June 1930. TT Scott. Reg No. WX 3257.
June 1930. Vertical mounting.
December 1939
1936. Scott Squirrel. Exhibit at Grampian Transport Museum.
April 1944
August 1944.
Jan 1945.
Reg No: USL 744.
Reg No: USL 744.
Reg No: KRB 865.
Reg No: KRB 865.

Scott built motorcycles from 1901 to 1982.

The Scott Motor Cycle Company of Saltaire, Yorkshire and was a well known producer of motorcycles and light engines for industry. The company was founded by Alfred Angas Scott.

1901 Scott built his first engine. It was a twin-cylinder two-stroke, fitted to a Premier bicycle. It was mounted in front of the headstock and the front wheel was belt driven.

1902 Scott revised his design so that the engine was behind the headstock with a friction, belt driven countershaft to the rear wheel.

1904 Scott patented his design as a twin-cylinder two-stroke with a central flywheel, overhung crankshafts and round crankcase doors.

1906 For one year, a basic 2.5hp single was offered called the 'Scout'. It was a typical primitive with rigid forks and belt drive. Although the claim was made that they produced the engine themselves, it was probably bought in.

1908 By now, Scott had developed a complete machine with a 333cc, 3hp engine, air cooled cylinders and water cooled heads. This clever design remained unchanged for many years. He arranged for the design to be manufactured by the Jowett brothers, but they built only six machines before alternative arrangements were made in Bradford to create the Scott Engineering Co. During that year Scott raced successfully at several hill climbs. Due to its style and the fact that it was easy to start, the motorcycle attracted a lot of attention.

1909 Production started in earnest. The machines had kickstarts and an increased capacity.

1911 There had been many improvements over the past couple of years. The engine became fully water-cooled and the capacity was enlarged to 486cc. A machine was entered in the TT with high hopes, but the engine had a lot of problems.

1912 After a lot of modification, Scott entered the TT again, and scored success when Frank Applebee won the Senior and set the fastest lap.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

1913 Success was repeated the following year, this time by Tim Wood who won by just five seconds. It was one of the closest victories in the history of the TT. The two-speed Scott was further improved that year, as demand was greater.

1914 For the TT, the works machines had a revised engine, but the results were disappointing. They finished well down - even after setting the fastest lap. Production continued into the first couple of years of the Great War, and for the services they built a sidecar model that carried a machine gun. Scott's ideas continued to develop and he produced an array of models. One was a three-wheeled gun car. There was also the Scott Sociable, which looked like a small car with the front left wheel missing. These models were built on a triangular tubular chassis.

1915 Scott left the company in 1915 and after World War I formed the Scott Autocar Co in nearby Bradford, to make a civilian version of his proposed military three-wheel motorcycle/car hybrid called the Sociable.

1922 The original motorcycles had returned after the war and the 498cc, two-speed Squirrel was listed.

1925-1929 The Super Squirrel was produced with several sizes and variations available. There was also the Flying Squirrel, which was more conventional in style. For a short time, a dirt-track model was added.

1927 Death in an accident of Rex Adams, winner of the Tourist Trophy and working for the Scott Motorcycle Co of Saltaire.[1]

1928 Scott Motorcycle Co of Saltaire to make a 5-hp engine for a car.[2]

1930 An air-cooled Scott single appeared. The machine was conventional in style, and by making the engine themselves, it was intended to appeal to the lower end of the market. However, due to lack of success, it was soon dropped. The design appeared dated and cumbersome, but without the talent and financial backing of Alfred Scott the company did not progress.

1930 Introduced a stationary engine in six sizes. These were designated the SMR and SR and sized from 1 to 5.5 hp. Production ceased in 1939. [3]

1930 Introduced the DSE (Diesel Starter Engine) stationary engine rated at 4 bhp at 1,500 rpm. Produced until 1939. [4]

1934 The company announced a water-cooled in-line three-cylinder model, which was exhibited at Olympia that year, but few were built and by the end of 1937 it was no longer listed.

1937 Manufacturers of light aero engines. "Flying Squirrel" Aero Engine. [5]

1938 Bought Cyc-Auto

World War II. The Scott machines were expensive and highly specialised, so output was low. Lack of sales forced them into voluntary liquidation and so the firm was sold to Aerco Jig and Tool Co of Birmingham, a company owned by Matt Holder who was a Scott fan.

1956 After several years Holder managed to get the Scott back into production. A couple of models were produced in small numbers. He produced the Scott Swift using an engine with flat-top pistons.

1960s A racing Scott twin made an appearance, but with little impact, and those motorcycles manufactured were built to order.

1982 The production of Scott motorcycles ceased.



  • A dedicated Scott Owners' Club web site can be found at [1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 27 April 1927
  2. Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 25 August 1928
  3. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  4. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [2] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • [3] Yesterday's Antique Motorcycles web site
  • [4] Cyber Motor Cycles web site
  • Miller’s Price Guide to Classic Motorcycles
  • [5] Wikipedia on the Scott Motorcycle Company