One of only eight-or-so surviving examples of 1914 TT-winner Cyril Pullin’s revolutionary design, ‘GC 7401’ has belonged to the current vendor since 1985. Introduced in 1928, the Ascot-Pullin was manufactured in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
Advertised as, “The New Wonder Motorcycle”, it was packed with innovations inspired by car-industry practice but failed to appeal to the notoriously conservative motorcycling public. The engine was a horizontally mounted overhead-valve single that drove the in-unit three-speed gearbox via helical gears, while a pressed-steel frame enclosed not only the engine/gearbox unit but also the fuel and oil tanks. A pressed-steel dashboard housed the rest of the instrumentation, together with electrical switch gear and ignition/air controls.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the Ascot-Pullin’s most novel feature was its hydraulic brakes, possibly the first on a motorcycle. Although they would eventually be sorted out, the machine’s teething problems fatally tarnished its reputation, and production ceased in 1929 after between 400 and 500 had been built.
Although an older restoration, ‘GC 7401’ benefits from new engine bearings (fitted in 2016) and a rebuilt gearbox with new second gear. Last run in March 2019 and described by the private vendor as in ‘excellent’ condition mechanically (engine and gearbox), the machine would nevertheless benefit from cosmetic improvement. This ultra-rare motorcycle is offered with a quantity of photocopied marque-related literature.
Report by bonhams.com