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Phillips Classic Mopeds

The Phillips moped was cheap at its launch in 1955 but it was not as good a machine as its competitors. It sold for £57 17/- 11d in 1955.

During the 1950s, several cycle makers produced special cycles for fitting cyclemotors to; among them were BSA (including New Hudson and Sunbeam variants), Elswick, Mercury, Phillips, Triumph and Sun. They would be supplied as a complete bike, or missing the rear wheel if a Cyclemaster was to be fitted.

Common features were:

  • Strengthed frame
  • Lower saddle position (more comfortable for powered riding but less suited to pedalling)
  • No rear brake on the Cyclemaster models; rear brake on the others was often a coaster hub
  • Braced (or sprung) front fork
  • Number plates
  • Lighting set designed to run off the engine
  • Lower than normal gearing - since pedals were mainly used for starting and assisting on hills

Phillips produced a range of such machines. The variations available included lady's or gent's frames, and drum or rim brakes on the front wheel.

Bike Image Description
1955 Phillips Motorised Cyclemotor 1955 Phillips Motorised Cyclemotor
1956 Phillips Gadabout Moped 1956 Phillips Gadabout Moped
1958 Phillips Panda 1958 Phillips Panda 50cc.
1959 Phillips Panda Moped Mk1 1959 Phillips Panda Moped
1959 Phillips Moped
Phillips Moped

Better known as cycle manufacturer, Philips like Raleigh, recognised the potential of the moped as a natural extension of their product range. The first model was introduced during 1954 as a clip-on power unit and was followed in 1956 by the two speed P39 Gadabout and in 1959 by the single speed P40 Panda and the P50 Gadabout Deluxe with a three speed gearbox.

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1960s Phillips Panda 1960s Phillips Panda

The single-speed Panda Mark 1 & 2 utilised what probably became the last manufacturing installation of the 49cc German Rex cyclemotor engine which first appeared around 1950 in the form of a front mounted belt driven cycle attachment, the strong but basic Panda frame being specifically built to house the motor.

The Rex engine at 6:1 compression has no bhp given but carries a 12-millimetre Bing carburettor to the aluminium barrel with sleeve liner in conventional fore & aft porting layout. The crankcase cavity unusually extends all the way to the back of the motor to include lubrication of the reduction gear and its bearings by the induction gases! This results in a reduced scavenge pressure. Mounted on the end of the output shaft with the sprocket inboard, the tiny 2½" Rex dry clutch is a particularly frail pull-operated device and typically responsible for the final demise of most machines.

1962 Phillips Panda 49cc Moped Phillips Panda Moped The Panda has a 'grip-locking' clutch lever and a carburettor set-up that provides a very reliable and steady tick-over. The rear brake comprises a back pedal Perry Coaster hub and a conventional bicycle-type hub brake, handlebar lever operated for the front brake.

Mark 1 version had no suspension but the mark 2 had telescopic front forks, larger headlamp and deeper valanced rear mudguard but retained the solid rear frame. The electrical system comprised a Miller flywheel magneto with lighting coils.

The final Panda mark 3 was simply an imported French Mobylette made by Motobécane badged as a Phillips. It had nothing in common with the previous home-produced models.


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