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ner a car history

1916-1918?

Carl Neracher and J. Allan Smith examine various machines.
Carl Neracher designs the Neracar. It has a 13.5 cu.in. engine, friction drive, and hub-centre steering.

Late 1918

In England, Sheffield Simplex have a factory that has been producing arms and aircraft engines during WW1, and are looking for something they can manufacture in peacetime.

Early 1919

In America, J. Allan Smith tries to raise funds for Neracar production, but is unsuccessful at this stage. He asks H.H. Powell, a Works Manager at Sheffield Simplex, to come to America – Powell worked for Smith before WW1. Sheffield Simplex are granted a Licence to produce the Ner-a-Car, but for sale only in England and its Colonies excepting Canada.

Late 1919

In England, The Inter Continental Engineering Company is formed in London. Several Board Members are also on the Board of Sheffield Simplex, plus J.Allan Smith, Carl Neracher, H.H. Powell, and others.

1920

In America, having obtained financial support, the Ner-a-Car Corporation is incorporated.

June 1921

In England, the Ner-a-Car is announced during TT week at the Isle of Man. Intercontinental Engineering are the Agents, with Sheffield Simplex manufacturing them at Tinsley, near Sheffield, and also assembling them at a works at Finningley, south of Doncaster. It differs from Neracher’s original design in small details, but is fitted with a Sheffield Simplex engine of 13.5 cu.in. (i.e. with the American dimensions). This equates to 221c.c.

Late 1921

In England, Gwenda Janson does 1,000 miles in the first week of November, to gain an ACU Certificate. A second Certificate is gained for an almost non-stop trip of some 300 miles in late December.

In America, the Ner-a-Car Corporation occupies a factory at 196, South Geddes Street, Syracuse, N.Y.

1921/22

In America, the Neracar appears in Chicago at the National Motorcycle, Bicycle and Accessories Show.

1922

In America, production starts in Syracuse.
In November, Cannonball Baker rides a Neracar from New York to Los Angeles, a trip of over 3300 miles in just over 7 days!

Early 1923

In England, production is moved to Kingston-on-Thames. A larger model, the Model B, is produced, with a 285c.c. engine, and a much larger front mudguard. It retains the friction drive and hub-centre steering. Sheffield Simplex now market the machine.

Mid 1924

In England, a new model, the Model C, is introduced, this time with a 350c.c. side-valve Blackburne engine fitted, driving through a conventional clutch and gearbox.

1924

In America, the engine size is increased by increasing both bore and stroke by 1/8 in. This gives 15.5 cu.in. equivalent to 255 c.c. These engines usually have an engine number with the prefix B. A second drum brake in the rear wheel, cable-operated by a lever on the right handlebar, is offered as an optional extra.

1925

In England, the Model C is now available with a 350c.c. overhead-valve Blackburne engine.
Later, a further model is announced, with rear springing, and car-type seating. The engine is the Blackburne side-valve as fitted to the Model C. It is not known whether any were actually produced.

In America, a Light Delivery Van was introduced. It had a box fitted between two front wheels in place of the usual front wheel. It is not known if any were sold. There is a photo in the PHOTO GALLERY.

1927

In England, production ceases, after maybe a total of 6500 have been produced. The highest chassis number known in existence is 6119.

1928

In America, production ceases early in the year, after maybe 10,000 have been produced. The highest chassis/engine number known in existence is 9169.

January 2005

In England, a total of 50 complete models are known to exist, with the different models being roughly equally represented, and about half of these are known to be in total working order. There are also about 10 in various states, i.e. dismantled or in need of total restoration, as of late 2004.

In America, I have details of 20, but know that there are maybe another 10 that exist of which I have no details.

In Europe, there are a few in France, a few in Germany, and about a dozen in Holland. Most of these are American models.

I also know of 5 in Australia, with rumours of another 4 or 5.