ner a car history
and J. Allan Smith examine various machines.
Carl Neracher designs the Neracar. It has a
13.5 cu.in. engine, friction drive, and hub-centre
In England, Sheffield Simplex have a factory
that has been producing arms and aircraft engines
during WW1, and are looking for something they
can manufacture in peacetime.
In America, J. Allan Smith tries to raise funds
for Neracar production, but is unsuccessful
at this stage. He asks H.H. Powell, a Works
Manager at Sheffield Simplex, to come to America
– Powell worked for Smith before WW1.
Sheffield Simplex are granted a Licence to produce
the Ner-a-Car, but for sale only in England
and its Colonies excepting Canada.
In England, The Inter Continental Engineering
Company is formed in London. Several Board Members
are also on the Board of Sheffield Simplex,
plus J.Allan Smith, Carl Neracher, H.H. Powell,
In America, having obtained financial support,
the Ner-a-Car Corporation is incorporated.
In England, the Ner-a-Car is announced during
TT week at the Isle of Man. Intercontinental
Engineering are the Agents, with Sheffield Simplex
manufacturing them at Tinsley, near Sheffield,
and also assembling them at a works at Finningley,
south of Doncaster. It differs from Neracher’s
original design in small details, but is fitted
with a Sheffield Simplex engine of 13.5 cu.in.
(i.e. with the American dimensions). This equates
In England, Gwenda Janson does 1,000 miles
in the first week of November, to gain an ACU
Certificate. A second Certificate is gained
for an almost non-stop trip of some 300 miles
in late December.
In America, the Ner-a-Car Corporation occupies
a factory at 196, South Geddes Street, Syracuse,
In America, the Neracar appears in Chicago
at the National Motorcycle, Bicycle and Accessories
In America, production starts in Syracuse.
In November, Cannonball Baker rides a Neracar
from New York to Los Angeles, a trip of over
3300 miles in just over 7 days!
In England, production is moved to Kingston-on-Thames.
A larger model, the Model B, is produced, with
a 285c.c. engine, and a much larger front mudguard.
It retains the friction drive and hub-centre
steering. Sheffield Simplex now market the machine.
In England, a new model, the Model C, is introduced,
this time with a 350c.c. side-valve Blackburne
engine fitted, driving through a conventional
clutch and gearbox.
In America, the engine size is increased by
increasing both bore and stroke by 1/8 in. This
gives 15.5 cu.in. equivalent to 255 c.c. These
engines usually have an engine number with the
prefix B. A second drum brake in the rear wheel,
cable-operated by a lever on the right handlebar,
is offered as an optional extra.
In England, the Model C is now available with
a 350c.c. overhead-valve Blackburne engine.
Later, a further model is announced, with rear
springing, and car-type seating. The engine
is the Blackburne side-valve as fitted to the
Model C. It is not known whether any were actually
In America, a Light Delivery Van was introduced.
It had a box fitted between two front wheels
in place of the usual front wheel. It is not
known if any were sold. There is a photo in
the PHOTO GALLERY.
In England, production ceases, after maybe
a total of 6500 have been produced. The highest
chassis number known in existence is 6119.
In America, production ceases early in the
year, after maybe 10,000 have been produced.
The highest chassis/engine number known in existence
In England, a total of 50 complete models are
known to exist, with the different models being
roughly equally represented, and about half
of these are known to be in total working order.
There are also about 10 in various states, i.e.
dismantled or in need of total restoration,
as of late 2004.
In America, I have details of 20, but know
that there are maybe another 10 that exist of
which I have no details.
In Europe, there are a few in France, a few
in Germany, and about a dozen in Holland. Most
of these are American models.
I also know of 5 in Australia, with rumours
of another 4 or 5.