The Famous James: ISO Brand Investor – Not Picky, Must Love Brit Bikes
A Famous James motorbike. Media sourced from BikeSure.
When I think Birmingham, I am immediately transported to my Netflix history, where dubious derring-do’s of Peaky Blinder Thomas Shelby (Cilian Murphy) top the shelf for ‘best ways to spend a weeknight’…but did you know there’s a bike brand out there that started in those coal-infested, tweed-happy times?
Well, more like a generation or two before the first PB episode….but who’s counting.
Originally founded as The James Cycle Company Ltd and finding success in the creation of penny-farthing bicycles, the brand punted out their first motorcycle in 1902 and even experienced some successes on the track, before shutting its doors in the mid-1960’s (via The Famous James’ website).
Today, the brand name and IP rights belong to one John Oakley, who wants nothing more than to see Tha Famous James ‘ride from the ashes’…unfortunately, to do that, he needs someone to invest in the company first.
“What I wanted to do was take that wonderful brand and that superb history and put it back on the British map, get British employment going, get a British manufacturer to take it on,” explains Oakley in the report from MCN.
“Somebody could pick the brand up tomorrow and start manufacturing under the Famous James brand. It’s got three associated logos and they go back a long way.”
Are you the backer The Famous James has been looking for? If so, you’d be a part of a marque with very deep roots in British soil – something that is a niche in and of itself in the motorcycle industry these days.
“There aren’t many companies with the history that James has got,” Oakley adds stoutly.
“It was founded by the famous Harry James and it employed hundreds of people in the heart of England, in Birmingham. In the forties [a James motorcycle] really was THE bike to have in terms of the working person’s motorbike.”
“During the war, they manufactured parts for the Spitfire engine, they made ammunition for the war effort and they also made 6000 motorbikes for the frontline British Army.”
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