The first time I saw my friend Ashley's bike was when I stopped for petrol at my local filling station. Ashley came out an excitedly said, "come and see what I have got in the workshop." It was a rare Scott Flying Squirrel in beautiful condition with only 3,500 miles on the clock.
It turned out that Ashley was in need of an open-faced helmet, and as I happened to have a spare one to give him, he offered to let me take the bike out for a spin in return.
Ashley's father (Kenneth Ford) brought the 1947 Scott Flying Squirrel in boxes in Grimsby. The previous owner took it to pieces in a dirty barn and could not put it back together, so in 1962 Ken rebuilt it and in 1976 moved to Guernsey and never got registered for road use!
Many years later, his eldest son Claude inherited the Flying Squirrel but unlike Ashley he is not a keen motorcyclist. Being a similar age, Ashley wasn't keen to wait for his brother to pass it on to him when he dies so he persuaded him to hand it over knowing how much Ashley would appreciate owning it. He registered it for road use for the very first time in its life in April 2017.
The Flying Squirrel has a 596 cc (36.4 cu in) water-cooled, two-stroke, twin engine producing 34 bhp @ 5,200 rpm. The power is transferred via its three-speed gearbox and the bike has a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h).
After production of civilian Scott motorcycles was halted at the outbreak of the Great War (1914-1918) it resumed with the introduction of the Squirrel in 1922. This was followed by the Super Squirrel in 1925 and the Flying Squirrel in 1926.
Shortly after the Second World War (1946/7) Scott relaunched the Flying Squirrel model. Available in 500 or 600cc form the machine was even heavier than its pre-war predecessor due to he addition of massive wheel hubs. The machine was relatively expensive for the performance it offered and this did nothing to enhance sales. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1950.
Being used to riding modern motorcycles, I had to concentrate hard on the unfamiliar controls of this rare classic bike. I can definitely say it was a great experience for me to ride a motorcycle of this vintage and I am certain Ashley will enjoy owning and using it.
Sources: wikipedia.org and scottownersclub.org