c1924 Phelon & Moore Sports Touring 'Panther' 555cc Motorcycle
Founded in 1904 by Joah C Phelon and Richard Moore in Cleckheaton, South Yorkshire, Phelon & Moore’s first motorcycle appeared the following year featuring what became P&M’s signature, a sloping 40-degree single-cylinder engine that formed a stressed member of the frame. Said to be the earliest completely chain-driven motorcycle, the original 500cc single was joined by a 90-degree V-twin design in 1914 featuring a four-speed transmission but only a handful ever left the factory. Enjoying success on the track, P&M also supplied bikes to the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and sidecar units to the Royal Automobile Club. Announced in November 1921, the new 4 ½ hp model remained in production until 1925 and was offered in both Touring and Sports (dubbed the Panther) versions. Featuring a sand cast alloy crankcase and mechanical valve gear, the air-cooled side-valve single had a bore and stroke of 84.1mm by 100mm and was mounted directly into the frame. The earlier 4 ½ hp models used a two-speed countershaft box with high/low ratios and sliding wedge clutch but a constant mesh four-speed box with kick starter was introduced in 1922. The frame itself was a modified version of the original 1920 pattern design, modified for the Sports Panther model in 1923 with a lower profile and this was standardised on the Touring model in 1924. A range of lighting equipment was available, including a Lucas Mag Dyno or Acetylene sets. The Panther 100, a 600cc single launched in 1932, proved the mainstay of P&M production post-war and remained in production until the company finally collapsed in 1967.