click to enlarge
Tour Index
1958 Berkeley B65

The Berkeley was a very popular British sports car

Its constructor, Laurie Bond was one of the more successful designers of mini cars in England. In 1956 he joined with Charles Panter, owner of Europes largest manufacturer of caravans, who wanted to offset seasonal sales variations by producing a car.

Production began with 3 prototypes, which were seen being tested with enthusiasm around the neighborhood of Biggleswade in the late summer of 1956. Stirling Moss drove one at Goodwood in September, and the public saw the new Berkeley en masse at the Motor Show.

The bodies were made of two plastic parts, with a box-shaped substructure and suspension and engine compartment reinforced with aluminum, forming a fiberglass monocoque structure. The headlights were under plexiglass covers. The first Berkeleys, the B60s, were 4-wheelers and had 322cc Anzani 2-stroke, 2-cylinder motors with 15 horsepower and chain drive to the front wheels. These in turn were hung on A-arms, suspended by Girling coil-and-damper units. At the rear there were swing axles, with struts. It was named B60 for its top speed, but generally referred to as the Berkeley Roadster in the literature.

In the spring of 1957, after some 163 cars with the Anzani motor had been produced, a switch was made to the 328cc Excelsior twin. This gave a useful increase of 3 horsepower and more importantly, a much better reliability record. The car was named B65, again for its top speed. The year saw many racing successes. In 1958 the new Berkeley Cars Ltd. Company showed the 328 Standard, 328 DeLuxe (twin carbs and better trim), and the new 492cc triple-cylinder B95 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show.

Manufacturer: Berkeley Cars Ltd. Biggleswade England

Model: B65

Motor: Excelsior, 2-stroke Body : Fiberglass
Years Built: 1957 - 1959 No. Cylinders: 2 Chassis: none
No. Produced: 2500 Displacement: 328 cc Suspension Front: Coil
No. Surviving: <100 Horsepower: 18 Suspension Rear: Swing Arm
Length: 10'3" Gearbox: 3 + rev Steering: Worm and nut
Width: 4'2" Starter: Dynastart Brakes: Hydraulic
Weight: 295 kg Electrics: 12 v Wheels: 5.20 x 12
Interior: 2 seats Ignition: Coil Top Speed: 60 mph

© 2002