The Panther Page

The Bikes: 2-Stroke Lightweights

P&M also produced a number of two-stroke lightweights, all of which were Villiers engined (a JAP engined machine was proposed). Earlier machines were 200cc and 250cc singles, later machines 250cc and 325cc twins. Pre-war models were based around the Panthette frame. Post-war the 2-strokes proved very popular and the 350cc heavyweight mdel 50, which handled like a normal 4-stroke, was particularly well regarded. Whilst some owners rate them highly they are not generally sought after.

1956 Model 10/3

Name - 2S10_3.JPG, Source - A.Johnson, Size - 62kThis is an early example of the Model 10/3 made from 1956 to 1960 used a 197cc Villiers 8E/3 unit construction two-stoke engine developing 7.5 bhp at 4000 rpm. The similar Model 10/3A and Model 10/4 used the Villiers 9E/3 and 9E/4 units developing 8.4 bhp. The /3 indicates a three speed model, the /4 a four speed. 

The colour scheme is maroon with gold lining on the tank. The matching maroon frame, rather than black, is at variance with the model tables in Barry Jones' book but the evidence strongly supports this as being original. 

I am grateful to Andrew Johnson for information and permission to use the picture

1959 Model 45 Sports

Name - M45S59AL.JPG, Source - Classic Bike / Peter Dobson, Size - 44kThe Model 45 was manufactured from 1959 to 1963/4. The bike pictured here is from the first year of production. It was powered by a Villiers 3T, two-stroke twin 324cc engine. P&M used the tuned Villiers 3T with a compression ratio of 8:1 (8.5:1?) and a claimed power output of 18 bhp at 5500 rpm. Apparently the 3T unit was developed for light car, not motorcycle, applications. 

Early Model 45s such as this used Earles leading-link front forks. From 1960 they were fitted with the P&M telescopic forks fitted to the Model 65/75 four-stroke lightweights, apparently because of a reluctance to go round corners! 

"Devil Red" was the only colour scheme. This was one of the very last Panthers in production. Not many of these machines were produced and fewer have survived. 

I am grateful to  / Peter Dobson for permission to reproduce this picture from the September 1990 magazine.

1966 Model 35 ES

Name - M35ES66L.JPG, Source - Classic Bike / Peter Watson, Size - 50kThe Model 35 was manufactured from 1958 to 1966; the electric start (ES) variant only in 1965 and 1966. The bike pictured here is from the last year of production and indeed the last year that P&M manufactured motorcycles. It was powered by a Villiers 2T, two-stroke twin 249cc engine with a compression ratio of 9.4:1 (10:1 ?) and a claimed power output of 15 bhp at 5500 rpm. 

Early Model 35s used Earles leading-link front forks as on the 1959 Model 45S above. From 1960 to 1964 they were fitted with the P&M telescopic forks fitted to the Model 65/75 four-stroke lightweights. For 1965 and 1966, as in the picture, they were apparently fitted with derated P&M Model 100 forks, although in the picture they appear to be from the lightweigths (see below though). 

This model was produced when P&M were in deep trouble. Apparently the Electric Start model was only built because engines happened to be available at the right price. The win exhaust pipes are siamesed to save the cost of one silencer. Apparently on these final batches the factory ran out of frame lugs and simply bashed the frames tubes flat and tacked them together! Specifications on these latter day bikes seem to have been highly variable with the factory fitting whatever they had to hand. 

Standard paint scheme was green; red finish was for Red Panthers sold through Pride and Clarke. The tank is a standard Speedwell unit; mudguards are polsihed alloy. 

I am grateful to  / Peter Watson for permission to reproduce this picture from the November 1988 magazine.

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