Details of Andrew Stewart’s Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) Scout registered NPN 5087

The car left the factory on 11 November 1936. It was all black with black trim. It was supplied to J.A. Ewing of London who also had a branch in Cape Town.

This information was supplied to me by the BSA Front Wheel Drive Club who has the factory records. They confirmed that the engine was the original. The car ended up in Pietermaritzburg where my wife discovered it in the wood and iron garage at a house in West Street in 1972, looking very sad.

It was owned by Taffy Owen from whom my wife bought it as a birthday present for me. The body of the car comprises aluminium sheeting on an ash frame.

The aluminium was pitted with white rust and sections of the wooden frame had to be rebuilt and reclad. The car had been lying abandoned for many years due the differential having seized.

Some technical details


4 cylinders 1204 cc 10hp
Side valve
Water cooled
Bore 63.5mm Stroke 95mm
Compression Ratio 5.8:1

An interesting aspect is that the car has no water pump or fan and relies on 'thermo cooling'.

The crankshaft runs in two roller bearings. Oil is pumped to the white metal big ends via a spring loaded plunger running against the end of the crankshaft.

Another unusual feature is that the car has front wheel drive. It has a 3 speed 'crash' gearbox.

Electrics are 6 volts.

It is estimated that only about 1500 of the Series 4 model were produced before the war intervened and production ceased.

Andrew Stewart
July 2012