Saturday, September 7, 2019

Panther re-visited

A big thanks to David at for kindly doing a resto job on this photo that I published a couple of posts back.

The extra sharpness on the image plus improved light gives the chance to take in some extra details missed before. As David pointed out there is a number board on the forks. One can also see that the front wheel is a 21 inch and with a studded tyre so it looks rather like this fellow used his Panther in competition. I would have said the most likely discipline for this bike would have been long distance trials.

Extra clarity on the image prompted me to investigate Panther models of the era a bit further and I'm rather ashamed to admit that my initial diagnosis of it being a Red Panther was very erroneous... Red Panthers were a discount model available in initially 250cc size and then later 350cc bought in bulk to a specification by London dealers Price and Clarke and sold through them exclusively. 

The model available through regular Panther dealers was known as the Redwing, in 250cc form it was the Redwing 70 and in 350cc the Redwing 80. Apart from finish the difference between the Redwings and the cheaper Pride and Clarke machines was a four speed gearbox instead of three and twin exhaust ports in stead of single.

I can't find reference to a competition model Redwing being available though many manufacturers did offer off-road competition versions of their standard models so it may well have been the case with Panther too. It certainly looks as if this machine is factory rather than modified.

I shall have to get in to this image restoration lark, it's not just more pleasing to look at a sharp, well lit image, the extra insight the detail gives you can be great too. Thanks again David.

Panther Redwing set up for off road competition and loaded
for touring.


  1. Glad to help. Fascinating story of the Redwing vs. Red Panther. I had not heard that before. Fantastic that cost savings extended to a three-speed gearbox. Seems more trouble than it would have saved in money.

  2. That gearbox is quite a heavy weight one, I reckon that is a 500cc Redwing. The much derided, 250 Pride and Clarke was not that bad a bike, getting many a working man to work in the 1930s and even 40s.

    1. Thanks. Got to admit that my knowledge on Panthers is pretty poor - I didn't even know that there was a 500cc in the Redwing range. Yeah, I've seen a few Red Panthers out and about and they seem quite nice, they certainly did the job they were supposed to very well. Cheers, Richard