Berkeley car was the Sports Anzani a soft top two seater built using the Anzani 322cc air cooled two
stroke twin cylinder engine and was launched at the 1956 Motor show.
The car was built using three basic body sections made in fibreglass, the main section is the 'punt' which is the base of the car and runs the whole length of the car. The punt used aluminium sections to create box sections for rigidity, the front and rear upper sections contained the aluminium bulkheads and fastened to the punt with copious amounts of rivets. Separate fibreglass mouldings were used for bonnet, doors and rear seat cover.
The two stroke engine is coupled to a 90 watt Siba Dynastart for starting and charging and an Albion adapted gearbox which gave three forward and one reverse gear, achieved using a sequential column mounted gear change. The gearbox in turn drives a front mounted chain driven differential, of Berkeley manufacture, which then drives both front wheels through unequal length Hardy Spicer splined drive shafts. These drive shafts use two universal joints to allow movement of the wheels and suspension. All of the engine and gearbox were situated in front of the front wheels giving the car very good road holding since most of the weight was on the driven wheels at the front
Suspension was independent all round with unequal length wishbones at the front and swing axles at the rear. Armstrong coil-over shock absorbers were used all round for springing and damping requirements. Steering was by a nut and worm steering box and idler levers used with a cross member mounted with small drag links at the end connected to the hub assemblies. Braking was a full Girling Hydraulic affair to twin leading shoes on each front wheel and a trailing and leading shoes at the rear. The brake drums were machined front cast iron and were used to mount the 12 inch wheels via five stud fixings. The cable hand brake used a umbrella handle for the driver operating both rear wheels.
Performance was impressive for such a small engined car, maximum speed was a claimed 70mph but 60mph was more realistic and an average of 50 to 60 mpg.
After about six months the engine was changed for the 328cc Excelsior air cooled two stroke twin cylinder motorcycle engine, during this time about 300 cars had been produced.
This site was last updated Sunday, 03 April 2005