S1 Publishing(Oxford)© 2012
World of motorcycleS
S1 Publishing(Oxford)© -2012
Rex & Rex Acme
|Acme Motor Co of Earlsdon Works, Coventry built motorcycles from 1902
1902 Acme began production at Osbourne Road in Coventry.
Probably founded by Frederick W. Allard. The first machineshad Minerva
engines followed by the 2.75hp Auto-motor. They then built a 3hp Acme model
themselves. A 4.5hp Auto-motor was also listed for trailer use.
1904 Acme were making the Auto-motor engine themselves.
1908 Two Acme machines were entered in the Island TT, but both retired.
They did not enter the TT again.
1918 They used JAP units and their own side-valve 348cc singles and
Around this time George Henry Hemingway was managing director
1920 A model was manufactured using a 976cc V-twin engine. The three-speed
gearbox was chain driven.
1921 A 2.75hp single joined the twin. It had two speeds and a chain-and-belt
drive. The two machines were very similar to those produced at the Rex
Motor Manufacturing Co factory at nearby Earlsdon.
1922 They became the Coventry Acme Motor Co
1922 The two companies amalgamated to form Rex-Acme.
1921 The company arose from the amalgamation between Rex Motor Manufacturing
Co and Acme Motor Co in 1921.
1921 A new marque was started with a lightweight model. This was either
single or two-speed with a two-stroke Morris engine. They also produced
a JAP or Blackburne four-stroke. Unusually, there was also the adoption
of the locally made CAM engine with very large finning and a detachable
1922 Brought the introduction of a miniature with a 170cc two-stroke
engine. It shared many similarities with the Hobart and Wee MacGregor machines.
1923 Took over Hobart Bird and Co and formed Hobart-Acme Motors
1924 Rex-Acme motorcycles were successfully raced at the Belgium and Ulster
Grand Prix. They also unveiled 250cc and 350cc ohv models with Blackburne
engines (see Rex-Acme-Blackburne). Walter Handley, who was one of the best
riders and tuners of the times, guided the company in its racing exploits.
He later became Works Manager at the Earlsdon factory.
1926 Handley's strong influence saw the arrival of a wider range, with
many options available. A new four-stroke, with a 173cc ohv AKD engine
and Albion three-speed gearbox, replaced the miniature two-stroke.
1927 There were good results at the TT, when Handley won the Lightweight;
as well as the world one-hour record - 91.21 miles covered in the sixty
Rex Acme 1928
1929 The depression was approaching, Handley had moved on and Rex-Acme
was in the doldrums. In an effort to turn things around they produced a
plethora of models and there were at least seventeen different ones on
offer that year.
The depression years. Rex-Acme still offered their full list plus a
range of others using Villiers, Blackburne, JAP and Sturmey-Archer engines,
as well as a speedway model.
1931 A further range was announced, including one with a Rudge Python
engine, but it was never built as production came to an end.
1932 The name had been bought by sidecar manufacturer Mills-Fulford,
who launched models using JAP engines.
1933 Two more models were added, with Villiers and JAP engines, but
later that year motorcycle production stopped and sidecars soon followed.
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