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1904 Raleigh Forecar

1904 Raleigh Forecar

The Raleighette Tandem Tricar, as the makers called it when first shown to the public at the National Show in November 1903, was reported as being something entirely novel. The frame differed from that on any other similar contemporary vehicle and the fact that a simple wire guard could be fixed round the engine made it very suitable for being driven by a lady.

The engine was Raleigh's own, being manufactured in Nottingham, water-cooled and 3.5hp rating. Cooling was by thermo-syphon, with twin coiled radiators.

The two-speed gear was said to be both simple and efficient, consisting of chains running either side of the rear wheel, high and low ratios being engaged by clutches operated by a twist grip. Anoth twist grip lifts the exhaust valve and another twisting ring on the handlebar actuates an exhaust governor.

Clutch and brake pedals are mounted adjacent to the footboards. A handlebar lever operates the front brake and cuts off the ignition system which is high-tension supplied from accumulators via a positive make and break.

The 1903 model was fitted with a rather ornate wickerwork forecar, but for 1904 a mych plainer and smarter unit was standard. The 1904 show report summed the Raleigh up as "the first tandem ever made with a symmetrical outline and one of the smartest and handsomest tandems opn the road".