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1951 Malvern Star Pictures

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Brian Guthrie has kindly added the following coments:

“I would suggest that this machine is post WW2. There were a few versions, some had pedal assistance. This one appears to have Villiers 98 cc with 2 speed gearbox. These machines were made by the manufacturers of the bicycles of same name. At that time that would probably be Bruce Small, trainer of Hubert Opperman, and later in life Mayor of The Gold Coast ,Queensland. At one stage, the same firm, through its chain of shops sold Jawas, (mid to late 50s). The Malvern Star name lives on, having changed hands umpteen times, currently the name graces bicycles from….. yes, you guessed it….China. A friend of mine had one of the models as per your photo, the front forks collapsed lowering him to the roadway, fortunately without injury. I bought the wretched thing from him minus engine, for 5 bob, I paid too much I think. Dreadful contraption really, overall, although the 2speed power unit was reliable enough,looked after. I’d estimate that the machine was made 1948 to 1950., and as you will probably have guessed was Australian produced. That engine came out around 1948 I think. along with 10D and 6E Villiers models.”

Toby also adds “I also have one of these brought of the nephew of the original owner. as to the year, that is most likely correct for the eng. it is a villers junior deluxe and was used in the corgi paratrooper bikes of ww2. theses eng where apprently sold of by villers very cheaply post war. malvern star also made a 125cc machine with a villiers eng. as a bike of history bruce small made a trip from melbourne to brisbane (Australia) on one of these in the mid 1950′s.”

And finally, Bob McGrath of Oz says:

“I can say with extreme confidence that it is a 1951 model. It cannot be a 1939 for several reasons, not the least of which is that the power plant is a 98cc, 2 speed Villiers 1F(intended for lightweight motorcycles, not autocycles) that was introduced in 1949. Villiers stopped production of the Junior de Luxe in 1948 in favour of the new 1F and 2F engines. The 2F was the single speed unit intended for autocycles and the 1F was the 2 speed unit intended for light motorcycles. The James Comet is probably the best known model that used the 1F. To use this engine this bike must be at most a 1949 model. Ten years younger than the claimed age. Further to this the Malvern Star is a local product made in my home town of Melbourne, Victoria. Victorian Police records on Malvern Stars are about as accurate and impartial as you can get. As in England autocycles had to be registered (road taxed) and insured for road use. Registration was a police function for many years. I have in front of me a copy of a large Victoria State Police book titled “Data for Registration Purposes”. In pre computer days copies of this book were issued to every police station across the State and it was the Bible used by every policeman to check that your machine details were acceptable. In this book the Malvern Star is shown as being produced from 1940 to 1951. No Victorian Policeman would register a 1939 Malvern Star, they didn’t exist. Plus the only year the 1F powered Malvern Star as shown in your picture appears in the Police Bible is for the last year of production, 1951. Autocycles were fading fast by the early 50′s. By then there were much better alternatives to do the same job.”

So 1951 it is then!

  • Manufacturer:
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  • Year: 1951
  • Decade: 1950s
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One Response to “1951 Malvern Star”

  1. Ron Bowley on June 24, 2014 @ 6:43 am

    My 17 year old sister had one of these in 1951 to get her to and from her job on a hilly country road, the damn thing repeatedly stopped on the same hill almost every night (usually in the rain) however the kind deeds of the local motor mechanic always sorted things out and lead to a marriage proposal ending in a long and happy relationship. I don’t know what happened to the Malvern Star but to the best of my knowledge it was dumped as soon as possible and hardly ever talked about, no photos of it survived but I have recollections of many road-side repairs until my sister learned the art of cleaning the spark plug herself. But it certainly was responsible for a very happy ending to this story.

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