1958 Sunbeam S8, 500cc. Registration number 352 XVL (non transferrable). Frame number S8 8632. Engine number S8 14048. A wartime design by Erling Poppe, the Sunbeam inline twin was introduced by BSA, owners of Sunbeam Cycles Limited, in 1947, loosely based on the BMW R75 designs that were acquired as war reparations by BSA). Built in Redditch, the unusual engine layout was similar to that of a car, being a longitudinally mounted inline vertical OHC 500 cc twin based on an experimental 1932 BSA design (the Line-Ahead-Twin - LAT) with coil ignition and wet sump lubrication which, through a dry clutch, drove a shaft drive to the rear wheel. The inline engine made this technologically feasible-horizontally-opposed ("flat") twin engines on BMW motorcycles had already used shaft drives following the system employed by Nimbus in 1918. A luxury tourer, it was of advanced specification. The clutch housing and four-speed gearbox bolted directly to the back of the engine, which was rubber mounted in the duplex loop frame, an innovation that required a flexible joint in the exhaust system ahead of the silencer. The first S7 version was equipped with balloon tyres, a feature not carried over to the deliberately more conventional and also lighter and cheaper, S8 introduced in 1949. The front fork and 7" brake were now standard BSA components and there were numerous other changes made in the interests of rationalisation. Never as popular as BSA's more performance orientated models, the gentlemanly S7 and S8 remained in production until 1957. XVL has no known back history but appears to have been well cared for and has recently been running, we would, of course, recommend safety checks before going on the road. Sold with the V5C.