2:00pm Tuesday 6th May 2014
By SNJ Reporter
A VERY rare exhibit will arrive at Jet Age Museum during its official opening celebrations on Saturday, May 10.
A rare scooter will be delivered to the museum in Gloucester charting a lesser known part of the county’s engineering history 94 years after it left the Sunningend factory.
With aircraft production in the doldrums after the end of the First World War, the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company set about diversifying its products.
Designed by Harold Boultbee and marketed as the ‘car on two wheels’, the ‘Unibus’ motor scooter was a feat of engineering.
Incorparating new innovations and technology, it was decades ahead of its time but the complexity led to an eye-watering price of 95 guineas, equivalent to around 325 000 at today’s prices.
Sales never materialized and less than 100 were produced.
Motorcycle enthusiast Mike Webster from Romney acquired what is thought to be one of only three Unibuses in existence and has fully restored the rare vehicle to roadworthy condition.
Next Saturday, it will make a ceremonial journey from the Lansdown Trading Estate to the new museum at Gloucestershire Airport, flanked by more than twenty vintage scooters.
Trevor Davies, museum volunteer, who researched the Unibus and was instrumental in bringing it to the new museum said: “Most people might think of the 1960’s Vespas as the beginnings of the scooter revolution but GAC were producing these machines many years beforehand.
“The Unibus is a very rare machine and it will be a great addition to the museum’s collection.”
The museum’s gala weekend takes place on Saturday, May 10 until Sunday, May 11.
The all-volunteer registered charity occupies a purpose-built hangar, located on Gloucestershire Airport’s Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road East and will open each day from 10am until 4pm.
Admission is free.
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