SML Motor Cycle and Sidecar

Motor cycle and side car rear

Motor cycle and side car front

Motor cycle and side car 05

Motor cycle and side car top

Motor cycle and side car side

Close up V-twin cylinder engine

This model is built from the Meccano Super Model leaflet published by Meccano between 1928 - 1932. The model had originally been published in the Meccano Magazine of January 1926, shown on the left. Although published many years ago the model is quite complex for that time and is certainly a Meccano classic. There are several interesting features,a sprung saddle, sprung side car, the chain to the rear wheel connects to the dynamo and fly wheel by a belt drive.

The instruction leaflet leaves no doubt that it was a tricky model to build as this quote from the leaflet explained. Its construction will prove no light task on the ingenuity of even long-experienced Meccano boys, and it is undoubtedly a task calling for nimble fingers.

My model is built using refurbished parts in medium green. It certainly called for considerable ingenuity especially as the parts list is misleading , wrong parts numbers being shown in several cases although the quantities were usually correct. This became apparent because I got all the parts out before starting construction and found to my frustration I did not have all the re-sprayed parts required but was left with several unused.

One of the main problems with the instruction leaflet is that only one side of the sidecar is shown, leaving a lot to guesswork. Yes those nimble fingers were required as assembly progressed and the use of foreceps in holding nuts in position was a big help. The model requires a considerable amount of bending of parts, a strip roller is indispensable for this.

I made a few changes to the construction as shown in the original instructions. The rear of the side car was originally made from multiple three hole double angle strips and curved flat girders as shown on the left, Here I substituted slotted curved strips, this was not because of not wanting to bend the flat girders but I thought the curved strips looked better, this part was not available in 1926. I had to resort to mutilation , cutting down each end of the crank handle used to fit the bike and side car together.

The construction of the side car was more akin to boat building than Meccano and looks looks like a clinker built boat hull. This part was very frustrating and involved several attempts to try and get it right but I still had small gaps in the nose, double slotted angle brackets would have been a big help here, if there was such a Meccano part. One unusual part used is the heald for a loom (made from thin wire) used for the support of the front mudguard. The rubber rings are modern reproductions sold by Dave Taylor .

The model often featured in Meccano advertising and leaflets as shown on the somewhat misleading picture shown above, from 1927 announcing the "New Meccano". The tyres shown are the balloon tyres these were much larger than the rubber rings shown in the original instructions and would not fit inside the frame and mudguards. It was this picture that inspired me to build the model many years ago.

The model was designed by Hubert Lansley who worked in the Meccano publicity deaprtment between 1923-1930. He owned a similar
machine himself at that time, as was explained in his autobiographical account "My Meccano Days" published by Constructor Quarterly.

Page created July 31 2012 revised August 02 2012


(a dust cover snake skin

[*] Back to Gallery of Meccano Models.