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Monday, June 4, 2012

Powered by Royal Enfield: Berkeley sports car video

A sports car powered by a Royal Enfield motorcycle engine.
Let's go for a ride in a Royal Enfield-powered Berkeley B95 sports car. This short video  is the best ride-along and walk-around I've seen on the Berkeley, a tiny, front-wheel-drive car made from 1956 to 1960 by a British builder of travel trailers.

This car is owned by Mike Rounsville-Smith, president/secretary of the Berkeley Enthusiasts' Club. He completed an 11-year restoration of the car in 2006.

It will be featured in the July issue of The Automobile, a monthly magazine in Britain specializing in pre-1960 cars.

The magazine's publisher drove and wrote about one of the first Berkeleys in 1958 and, in the July issue, he re-acquaints himself with the brand.

"The Royal Enfield engine is renown for its vibrations," Rounsville-Smith tells us in the video. The 700-cc twin in the car has a piece of metal visible across the top of the motor. I'm guessing it's there to help connect the two heads, discouraging vibration from loosening them and causing oil leaks.

The most amazing aspect of the video is the impression you get driving along that you are looking up at roadside bushes. There is little doubt that in the case of the Berkeley car, you might have been safer on a motorcycle.

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