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British Motorcycles

Villiers 9D Engines

by Bob McGrath

Motorcycles powered by Villiers 9D

Acme 1939-48 Australia

Carlton 1937-40

Chell 1939

Cotton 1937-?

Coventry Eagle 1938-39

Excelsior 1936-48

Eysink 1936-40? Holland

Francis-Barnett 1938-48

Grosespur 1938-40

Hulsmann 19? Holland

James 1936-48

Montgomery 1936-40

Norman 1939-48

OEC 1939

Pride & Clarke 1939

Ready 193?-40 Belgium

Socovel 19? Belgium

Sparta 19? Holland

Swallow 1946-48

Tandon 1948

Wolf 1936-40

The first unit construction 122cc Villiers engine appeared in 1936 as the 8D. Over the next few years it was steadily improved and changed enough for it now to be designated the 9D. All pre-war Villiers engines had an identifying prefix of two or more letters. Villiers also considered the 8D improvements to be substantial enough to require additional identifying letters to be added to the original AA of the 8D.

Thus we have the original AA becoming AAA, then AAA****A, the last having an A suffix stamped after the engine number as further improvements were put in production.

Further to this, Villiers made a 98cc version to suit the legislative requirements of some countries. These can be identified by the prefixes, BBA, BBS and HL. The latter HL identifies a unit made under licence by the Huta Lutwikow works in Poland.

Finally, the 9D engine identifying prefix was was brought in to line with the new Villiers identification system introduced in 1946. This was a number system based on the contract raised between Villiers and the purchaser thus identical Villiers engines will have different identification numbers depending entirely on to whom Villiers sold the engine.

The changeover happened at a time of great social upheaval as the world slowly returned to peacetime normality. Consequently only limited information survives. Below is a table with the currently known 9D numbers and what make of bike they were found in. For many years it was far cheaper to buy a second hand Villiers engine than it was to recondition the original, so there is no guarantee that any specific engine is the original for that machine. It may be a second hand replacement.

Number

Engine

Make

Comment

351

9D

Acme

Australian

364

9D

Norman

436

9D

Norman, Roamer

Normans were sold as Roamer in some countries.

539

9D

James ML

580

9D

Excelsior Universal

597

9D

Francis Barnett

624

9D

DOT

3 wheeler truck

640

9D

Ready

Belgian

641

9D

Swallow

750

9D

Tandon

765

9D

Socovel

Belgian

Villiers introduced the entirely new 10D in 1949 and ceased production of the 9D.




If you have a query about Villiers, or wish to share information about these classic British machines, please contact us

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