Eric began restoration work on this motorcycle before his daughter's first birthday. It fired up and ran on Saturday 7 August 2010 in good time for Sarah's 30th birthday. Main cause of the time taken was a professional restorer who just never got round to it. There was also a lot of painstaking research work, began before you just put a few misspelled words into Google! Here is a letter from the daughter of the licenced English importer of Moto-Rêve engines.

My father started his own firm The Motor Supply Company in Lewisham in 1907. During the year he negotiated with Moto-Rêve Genève to import a few machines. He must have considered that they were a worthwhile proposition but found that they were not an easy company to deal with (French management!), difficult to pin them down to a satisfactory business arrangement. Anyway, eventually they were appointed sole concessionaires for the UK & Colonies on a two year arrangement and I think he arranged to exhibit the machines at the Stanley Show, Royal Agricultural Hall 18-28 November 1908. On the first day problems arose when Bowdens made a deputation accusing them of an infringement of cable patents. This was resolved quickly and future imports consisted of engines only.

Arrangements had to be made regarding the manufacture of parts and frames etc. This was fraught with problems plus assembly arrangements had to be made. The appointment of sales agencies in the bigger towns also sorted out. Moto-Rêve Genève were slow and erratic with their deliveries of engines which would sometimes arrive without belts, etc and customers would be disappointed. From time to time matters improved and he moved to Grays Inn Road London 6 Aug 1908 and established a works at Acton Vale.

He changed the name to The Moto-Rêve Co Ltd (British Agency & Agencies all over the UK). The machines assembled and built here were supplied through the appointed agencies or to individuals going abroad. I guess Moto-Rêve Genève made similar arrangements in other countries I have no information about this.

Always on the lookout for more businesses, Motosacoche were contacted in Feb 1909 by Lenslthen Howard and, after promising an agency, they retracted after finding out that the owners of the British Cycle Manufacturing Co were also owned by Feeneys.

Sylvia Feeney-Brown

Real Classic staffers were on hand for the resurrection of Eric's motorcycle and put the story on their website.