GoogleCustom Search

Panther Classic Motorcycles

The first Panther was launched in 1924, but the Phelon & Moore name was not dropped until somewhere around 1929. In 1932 the Panther Model 100, an OHV 600 cc single, was launched and this was produced through to the sixties, ending its run as the 645 cc Model 120 of 1967. This line of Panthers was the most famous of all Phelon & Moore models.

These heavyweight big single-cylinder "slopers" were often described as "firing once every lamp-post" due to their slow RPM. Promoted as "The Perfected Motorcycle" they were noted for innovation for most of their history. Panthers were often used for hauling sidecars, a role in which the high torque output of a high capacity single cylinder engine with its large flywheels was well suited, but the popularity of sidecar outfits eventually waned.

The combination of the advent of cheap cars and the collapse of the British motorcycle industry brought production to an end. They are simple and fairly robust machines which inspire enormous enthusiasm in their owners. These factors, combined with relatively low cost, have resulted in a fair number of Panthers being still in use.

Bike Image Description
Panther Austin 7 Panther Austin 7 the machine is a 1927 or 1928 Phelon & Moore, later know as a Panther. It has been fitted with an early 1926 or 1927, Magneto ignition Austin 7 engine. We understand 6 of these machines were built and sold as a “pegasus by a local man, Mr McColkin who was the chief rate fixer for Douglas Motorcycles in Bristol.
1934 Red Panther - 250cc Panther M120 Strictly speaking the name Red Panther belongs to those 250cc machines sold by Pride and Clarke for £28/17/6d in the years from 1933 to about 1939 , but is often used to describe all the 250cc and 350cc 4 stroke Panthers with a sloping engine built between 1932 and 1948. Red Panthers were basic versions of the ‘de-luxe’ Panthers made by P&M but employing somewhat cheaper components and were painted with cellulose paint rather than stove enamel. The Red Panthers were then sold in bulk to Pride and Clarke whilst the manufacturer continued to sell the de-luxe version themselves. The large volumes of Red Panthers sold through Pride and Clarke are generally credited with saving P&M during the pre-war depression years.

The 250 and 350 lightweight Panthers (models 20 and 30 respectively from Pride and Clarke, or Model 70 and 80 as the de-luxe version from P&M - and after the war Model 60 and 70) are delightful bikes to ride. Whilst the 250 is somewhat lacking in power compared to the 350, all these 4-stroke lightweights are great fun to ride. They handle extremely well, have a lively, and for the time high revving engine, carry little surplus weight and are generally robust and reliable with a good turn of speed. They were also very economical with the 250cc version managing about 100mpg, something that was a good selling point in the pre-war years (as it is now!).

1936 Red Panther 350cc OHV de Luxe Model 30 1936 Red Panther 350cc OHV de Luxe Model 30

In the competitive British motorcycle market of the early thirties, manufacturers were forced to find strategies for reducing production costs in order to get their products onto the market at the right price. With so many machines on offer, price really was a determining factor in sales.

Panther's solution was for Pride & Clarke to market a budget version of the Panther Model 80, which was called the Red Panther.

This Red Panther Model 30 was a 348cc 15 bhp machine and was made from 1933 to 1939.

1947 Panther 60 1947 Panther 60

Very Rare Panther Model 60 1947 250cc.

Late 1950s Panther M120, 650cc Panther M120

The final development of the famous sloper saw the engine enlarged to 650cc, substantial swinging arm rear suspension, fully interchangeable full width hubs with some of the more effective brakes of the period, and an increase in power. The M120 is not generally considered as reliable as the M100 but an impressive number of them are still on the road for all that and one was recently ridden by Des Molloy from Beijing in China across the Gobi, some of the highest mountains in the world and the roughest dirt roads to Holland without much trouble (broken fork stanchion not-withstanding). They handle well, are comfortable to ride and actually stop! Slightly quicker than the M100, they make a good long range tourer and of course are the quintessential sidecar bike, as the massive torque enables substantial weight to be pulled with comparative ease. On the other hand, as any Panther owner will tell you, oil consumption can border on the gargantuan!

More Panther M120 information

1949 Panther TS 98 1949 Panther TS 98
1950 Panther M75 1950 Panther M75 The Model 75 Panther motorcycle had a 348cc, 6.5:1 (later 6.7:1) compression ratio, 71 x 88 mm, ohv vertical engine in a relatively standard frame. It was developed from the 1948 Model 70. In many respects it was similar to the 248cc Model 65. The Model 75 had Lucas K1F magneto ignition. The gearbox was Burman CP four speed unit with a ratio of 5.25:1. The frame was a heavy duty cradle with a single saddle down tube. A swinging arm model was introduced in 1953. The Dowty forks that initially provided front suspension were later replaced with the P&M telescopic forks. Wheels were 26" x 3.25" front and rear initially with 6" half width hubs and later optional alloy hubs were offered.
1951 Panther M100 1951 Panther M100  
1952 Panther Model 65 ridgid single, 250cc single Panther 1952 Model 65 ridgid single After the war Panther designed a new upright engine and a more substantial and considerably taller frame. Whilst these lightweights are generally sound reliable machines, they are undoubtedly heavier and less nimble than their earlier equaivalents with the sloping engine. Best known amongst them is the Stroud, now very rare which was the Panther competition motorcycle of the period. The 65s and 75s were designed primarily as a modest commuting bike for the working man coming home from the war into austerity Britain. This they performed this function well and rather like their predecessors have an unburstable engine and rather like their heavyweight cousins appear to be addictive to a certain type of owner rider.
1953 Panther M100R, 600cc 1953 Panther M100R, 600cc
1955 Panther M100 Rigid - 600cc, four-speed manual 1955 Panther M100 Rigid The rigid Panther M100 with Dowty forks is, in my opinion the prettiest motorcycle ever produced and for me, one of the best. They have an enviable reputation for reliability and a surprising turn of speed (they are good for 80mph), low centre of gravity and the wonderful air-spring Dowty front suspension and they made for an exceptionally comfortable machine. The relaxed, unstressed nature of the large single cyclinder engine makes for a wonderfully stress free ride with little vibration, and their predictable, if somewhat less than sports handling gives them a feeling of great stability. The Dowty forks were only available for a few years after the war (pre-war have girder forks) before Panther designed their own telescopic forks. These, or at least their second attempt, are quite good but do little to enhance the looks and add to the weight. Produced from the late 20s until the early 1957 as a rigid and until 1962 with Panthers rather overweight swinging arm, they have one of the longest production runs in motorcycle history, only the BMW boxer twin beats them. They also hold one of the more remarkable endurance records. In 1939 an M100 Panther was ridden non-stop at the maximum permitted road speeds, day and night, in the middle of winter, between London and Leeds for 10,000 miles averaging over 1100 miles a day and 40 mph including the days of heavy snow, frost, fog, rain and normal British winter roads. The bike required almost no attention (broken chain, petrol pipe and fibre dog on the magneto).
1956 Panther 197cc 1956 Panther Image supplied by
1957 Panther Model 10 Panther Model 10 197cc, two-stroke.
1958 Panther Model 100
Panther Model 100 Built in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, Panther's had an enviable reputation for their sturdiness and longevity. Their long stroke 600cc engine made them ideal for use with a sidecar and has resulted in tales of "stump pulling" torque and firing intervals measured in lampposts passing into motorcycling folklore. By 1957 the majority of the Model 100's sold were equipped with a pivoted fork frame although a few, such as the one offered were built with rigid frames.
1959 Panther 35 Panther Model 35 250cc
1959 Panther M100 Sidecar 1959 Panther M100 Sidecar  
1960 Panther 100 Deluxe Panther 100 Deluxe 1960 Panther model 100 deluxe, 600cc.
1960 Panther Model 100
Panther Model 100

The Panther Model 100 formed part of the three bike range which Panther announced when production recommenced in 1945. Initially, girder forks were fitted; however these were replaced with Dowty Oleomatic items in 1947. In 1954 Panther introduced a pivoted fork frame together with conventional telescopic forks manufactured in house.

Throughout this period the "100" retained a twin port head, however in 1957 a new model joined the Panther range in the form of the Model 100 de luxe with the existing model becoming known as the "Standard". The "Standard" adopted a new single port head and a single sided front brake.

Image provided by

1960 Panther M120S Panther M120S Phelon and Moor Panther M120S Combo.
1960 Panther 3T Panther 3T


Image supplied by

1961 Panther Model 100
1961 Panther

The Cleackheaton built Panther single adhered to the basic design philosophy established in the pioneer years by P and M with an inclined cylinder replacing the front frame downtube. Although viewed as a sidecar tug by many the big "pussy" offered soloists an entertaining ride thanks to its prodigious torque output. Unfortunately, by the time this example was produced the marques all important sidecar market was in with production eventually ceasing in 1968.

Image provided by

1962 Panther 120 1962 Panther 120 650cc.
1963 Panther M120 1963 Panther M120 650cc single.
1966 Panther 250 Twin 1966 Panther 250 Twin  
1976 Panther 175 Super Sport 1976 Panther 175 Super Sport  

Thanks to Rollo Turner,, for providing much information for this page.