|Key people||John Dolphin|
The Corgi Motorcycle Co Ltd. was a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Southport that produced 98cc scooters developed by Managing Director John Dolphin from the military Welbike motorcycle. Production of the Corgi scooter for the UK market began in 1948 and 27,050 were manufactured before production ended in October 1954.
Founded by Managing Director John Dolphin at the end of World War II in 1946 the Corgi Motorcycle Company was formed to develop a civilian version of his 98cc Welbike, which had been designed to be dropped by parachute to support airborne troops.
The main difference between the Corgi scooter and the Welbike were that frame was more sturdy (as weight was no longer such an issue) and the Corgi had a fuel tank in the normal motorcycle position between the handlebars and the saddle. Both were otherwise very similar with small wheels and folding handlebars and seat. Both had 98cc two-stroke engine with a single gear. The original Corgi scooter was started by pushing, but the Mark 2 was fitted with a kick start and two clutches - a conventional handlebar operated clutch and a 'dog-clutch' which was operated by folding down the right hand footrest to engage the rear wheel, to enable the Corgi to be kick started and run whilst stationary.
A company called Brockhouse Engineering of Southport built Corgi scooters (powered by an Excelsior Spryt Autocycle engine) under licence and many were exported to the United States between 1947 to 1954. Sold through a department store the Corgi was branded the 'Indian Papoose' for the US market. Production of the Corgi scooter for the UK market began in 1948 and 27,050 were manufactured before production ended in October 1954.
As a marketing stunt a Corgi scooter was ridden across the American continent. They were also used by the US Air Force during the Korean War as transport for maintenance staff and were kept aboard aircraft for use by aircrew. Corgi scooter were available with optional sidecars which were also produced by Brockhouse.
In 1948 the Gloucester Flying Club held their annual "At Home" and flying display at Staverton airfield on Saturday, July 3. The programme started with a mock bombing display by F/O. Burgess and Mr. R. Law flying a Tiger Moth and their target was a Mr. J. Anning riding a Corgi scooter. Unfortunately, during one of the bombing runs Mr. Anning was struck on the head and had to be taken to hospital.
References / Sources
- "British motorcycle manufacturers". Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
- Miller, Peter. From Welbike to Corgi. FWtoC Publishing. ISBN 0953068315.
- "John Robert Vernon Dolphin". Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
- Wilkinson, Bill. "A Corgi in Retrospect". Retrieved on 2009-04-29.
- "Brief History of the Marque: Corgi". Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
- "Civil Aviation News". Flight (15-07-48). Retrieved on 2009-04-28.
- An owners view of the Corgi scooter
- Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands takes delivery of his second Corgi
- Corgi motorcycle advertisement
- Corgi motorcycle advertisement 1950
- Picture of 1948 Corgi motorcycle
- Corgi Excelsior Spryt Mk2
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