1957 Berkeley SE328 Sports
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | November 26, 2016
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
Berkeley Cars Ltd of the amusingly-named Biggleswade, England, was in existence only between 1956 and 1960. In that short time frame, the company managed to produce about 10 different models. The SE328 Sports was the second model introduced, and it was produced between January 1957 and April 1958.
This car is powered by a 328cc two-stroke twin-cylinder engine – a six cc improvement over the original Sports model. Power is a stout 18 horsepower and it cost $1,600 when new in the U.S., where they were officially exported to. Top speed was right at about 62 mph.
The Sports was the second best-selling model Berkeley had with 1,259 produced. The small engine, fiberglass body, and diminutive size make this a fun, economical toy for those with the means. This 35,000 mile example will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $5,284.
1959 Berkeley SE492 “Twosome”
Offered by Auctions America, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, March 16-18, 2012
If you’re into numerology, watch out. Berkeley produced about 666 SE492s between 1957 and 1959. Just hope that yours doesn’t have the final serial number. For the first year of production, the car was called the Sports SE492. When the Berkeley Foursome (four-seater) was introduced in 1958, the name “Sports” was replaced by “Twosome” to differentiate between the two models. This is a “Twosome.”
All Berkeleys were front-wheel drive and this one used a 30 horsepower 492cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine. Berkeley cars were small and 30 horsepower is adequate. They are referred to as “microcars” but the term “microcar” has a somewhat negative connotation in my mind – and I’m probably not alone. I think small and cramped with smart-car-esque proportions. But these open-top cars are just little British sports cars. Sure, it might be smaller than an MG (which are fairly small). How many microcars could hit 80 mph? Plus, these had competition success, with Lorenzo Bandini finishing first in class with one in the 12 Hours of Monza.
A car eerily similar to this (I think it’s the same one) was recently for sale for $15,000. And that sounds like a reasonable price for this car. To read the complete description, click here and here for more on Auctions America’s current sale.
Update: Sold $16,500.