While shopping for Christmas presents I came across a book on Francis-Barnetts. The price was right so I bought it. Why would I want a book on the history of the long defunct marque, you might be asking? Because I've got one, naturally enough.
Here's a photo of the little diamond in the rough languishing in the back of the barn. It's mostly all there except for the exhaust from what I remember. This one is probably in the worst shape of any project bike that I've ever brought home that I was planning on restoring. I've got paper work on it but it's in the lock box so until I make a trip to the bank, I couldn't even tell you what year it is but from what I've gleaned from the book, I'm pretty sure it's a Model 78 Plover made between 1957-1959. Most of these things had Villiers two-stroke motors in them. There's a Francis-Barnett owners club and forum, so there should be some help out there with technical information and part sourcing. And, believe it or not, it's possible to buy a new one! There's a company in England that's producing two models using a Suzuki 125 motor. Street or trials, your choice.
How sweet is that? The Francis-Barnett company actually had a pretty successful record in trials competition. I can see mine getting moved up the list of projects to be worked on. Especially now that it looks like I can find the engine parts I need to get it running again.
Here's what we're shooting for except in Azure Blue rather than Arden Green:
|Photo From Here|
Long live the Fanny-B!