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Cromerford Wallis

The speedway connection of the Comerford company was I am told brought about by Wallis - will try to explain. George Wallis developed a prototype Wallis/Jap in 1929 asking Wal Phillips to test it, Wal was not impressed with the frame but liked the engine so took it to try with the Rudge frame, the results were impressive in time trials. George Wallis did not give up and continued to try and get Wal Phillips to use the Wallis frame with the engine, modifications suggested by Wal were undertaken and the result was called the Wallis JAP.

The Wallis JAP was a roaring success so much so that George could not meet demand and he had to look for a partner, he chose a company from Thames Ditton called Comerfords as so the Comerford Wallis was born. Problems with chain shedding were overcome by fitting the frame with special lugs they also cured the tendencies to rear end whip, this was a common problem with the early speedway machines and different engineers tried different things. The Wallis frame was fitted with two lower tank rails, a curved front down tube that allowed the engine to be fitted in a forward position this adapted frame will accept the 350 or 500 cc engines.

Production of the machine began in April of 1929  with a few refinements in 1933. This equipment was blessed with many well thought through innovations, the rider/mechanic only needed two spanners as the equipment was restricted to only two sizes of fixings, the spindles were knock out and the stand removable. The frame was the first to become available with the forks featuring telescopic internal spring system and had a Andre steering damper. It utilised a single front down tube that at its upper end is fitted with a heavy steering head of forged steel.

The lugs previously mentioned are drop forgings with all joints being brazed, the rear forks and seat stays being made to the Wallis patent giving great strength. Reynolds Aero cold-drawn steel tubing added to the quality of this frame.  The fork has a pair of very stout and dead-straight blades, braced to the front by two thinner struts organised to form a rigid girder able to cope with any amount of torque stress. There were no side links whatever.

The countershaft, a 7/8” nickel steel shaft is mounted in Timken tapered roller bearings, housed in cast aluminium, there is no clutch, the counter shaft carries two sprockets and the transmission has both primary and secondary chains the secondary drive can be fitter to either side to suit the riders requirements.

The frame was originally presented in black enamel with chrome handlebars and a red fuel tank that was built to carry both fuel and oil and was fitted on the left with a Best & Lloyd oil pump carrying a pipe to the engine where the mechanical part of the pump managed the distribution. The machine shown has a JAP fitted and the tank has been chromed.

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