Scott built their reputation by flying
in the face of convention. In the pioneer days, their
delicate but never frail two-stroke twins were a delightful
and effective alternative to the bicycle-framed, girder-forked,
four-stroke single norm. But with the death of the
founder in 1923 all that began to change. The late
vintage Squirrel slid towards a conformity that would
eventually lose much of the charm of the originals.
At the time, it seemed an attractive answer to satisfying
the demands of an increasingly conservative mass market
and was a favourite machine for many competition riders.
The Squirrel name came into being in
1921, on the new 500cc sports model. It was an appropriate
name for a cheeky, agile machine that was third in
the Senior TT of 1922, made a fastest lap in the 1923
event and was second in 1924. At first, the Squirrel
remained true to Alfred Scott's original open frame,
two-speed concept. But from 1922, the company began
to dabble with a three-speed design, using a conventional
gearbox and clutch and the three-speed Scott Squirrel
was therefore shown in 1923. In 1926, the racing version's
gearbox was much improved. but more importantly, the
frame and forks were completely revamped. The frame
was made of heavier tubing and the fork was extensively
There was a top bracing tube and the
tank filled the open frame as on racing machines.
The resulting machine had a more conventional appearance
but had gained arounf one-third in weight. This model
was the basis of the roadster Flying Squirrel models
that followed. The 500cc machine that appeared at
the 1926 Earls Court Show was identical, along with
a 600cc option. There was a considerable increase
in price, making them around twice the price of a
The year 1928 saw Scott's last place
in a Senior TT, a third and towards the end of the
season the factory put a replica on sale. It would
become one of the best loved models. As part of a
cost-cutting exercise for 1929, which saw the Squirrel
drop in price, they also launched a more basic Tourer
at under £70.
By 1931 Scott's financial straitjacket
and the mounting recession had the firm in great difficulties.
There was no entry at the TT, not the annual motorcycle
show. There were detail modifications to the range
each year but the most significant effort were reserved
for a prototype three-cylinder two-stroke. Although
this was proudly shown in 1934, Scott lacked resources
to exploit the design.
The original Scott went out of production
during the war and never really recovered after it.
In 1950, the firm was sold to Matt Holder's Aerco
company, based in Birmingham. Holder continued to
sell bikes from the assets acquired but it was not
until 1956 that a new bike was built. The Birmingham
Scotts had a conventional swinging arm frame and a
600cc version of the Scott engine.
- Years in production - 1926-40
- Engine - Parallel twin-cylinder water-cooled two-stroke
- Capacity - 596cc
- Carburettor - Binks
- Gearbox - three-speed with hand-change
- Wheelbase - 55.5in
- Weight - 325lb
- Top speed - 70mph