Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Eli Clarke

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Eli Clarke of Station Road, Bristol

Leader were motorcycles produced by Eli Clarke of Bristol, from 1903 to 1908.

1903 A machine was built and fitted with a 2hp Minerva engine hung from the downtube. To absorb road shocks, it had Preston Weir wheels built in two parts.

1904 Clarke entered his machine in the 1,000-mile trial and was an award winner.

1906 The same machine was still listed.

1908 The engines used were now mainly JAP - singles of 2.5hp, 3.5hp and 4.5hp; V-twins of 6hp, 7hp, or 9hp. There was also a 3.5hp Fafnir single. Little more was heard of the make after the end of the year.

1908 Advertisement. Eli Clarke, Leader Cycle and Motor Depot, 223 Cheltenham Road, bristol. Works: Station Road, Montpelier.[1]

1911 Eli were motorcycles produced from 1911 to 1912, by Eli Clarke at Station Road, Bristol.

The make was first seen at the late 1911 Olympia Show. Using Precision engines, he first fitted a 3.5hp engine but later listed 2.5hp, 3.75hp and 4.25hp models. All except the largest had a simple belt drive. The 4.25hp model had chain-and-belt-drive.

Although the make was short-lived it had excellent mudguards and additional shields for weather protection.

1922 Advertisement. Eli Clark(sic), The Leader Motor and Cycle Depot, 196 Cheltenham Road. Works - Cheltenham Lane. Douglas and Beardmore Precision agent.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Horfield and Bishopston Record and Montepelier & District Free Press - Saturday 18 July 1908
  2. Western Daily Press - Friday 07 April 1922
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9