1935 BSA Scout

In 1921, BSA resumed post-hostilities car production with a 10 horsepower light car powered by a Hotchkiss V-Twin engine. It sold well until it disappeared in 1925 when rivals Morris bought Hotchkiss, though BSA later acquired rights to the engine to power its front-wheel drive three-wheeler.

The BSA Scout was an open two-seater car manufactured and sold by subsidiaries of The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited. Production began in April of 1935 and would be produced until the late 1930s when the outbreak of war brought an end to production. This was a very interesting vehicle as it had front-wheel drive configuration, using a setup similar to the company's three wheelers but the engine was more conventional featuring 4 cylinders and being water cooled. Under the bonnet was the engine, gearbox, clutch, and a short stiff propeller shaft to the worm and spur driven differential. These mechanical components were mounted as one unit positioned in a reverse to the usual order. At the very front of the car was the differential.

The chassis was made of channel section side members that were braced by cross members. In the front was eight quarter-elliptic springs (four at each wheel) giving independent front springing. At the back were half-elliptical springs to a beam axle. The single brake for the front wheels was a part of the differential unit. In the back were brakes on each wheel. The four-cylinder, 1075cc engine offered 9 horsepower and was mated to a three-speed gearbox.

The Scout progressed through four series which included changes and modifications along the way, including an increase to its engine capacity. It did not re-emerge after World War II, BSA having decided to concentrate on producing motorcycles only.


By Daniel Vaughan | May 2016

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3BSA
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)

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