1958 Berkeley Sports SE328
Sold For $23,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
A sporting microcar with Siata-like styling.
Manufacturer: Berkeley Cars Ltd.
Origin: Biggleswade, England
Motor: Excelsior 2-cyl., 2-stroke
Displacement: 328 cc
Power: 18 hp
Length: 10 ft. 3 in.
Identification No. 1104
“Something good enough to win World 750 cc races…but cheap, safe, easily repairable, and pretty.” This was what Charles Panter and Lawrie Bond set out to build. The Berkeley Sports was introduced to the public at the 1956 Motor Show, a year ahead of the fiberglass monocoque Lotus. The Sports SA322, often incorrectly called the B60, had the interesting Anzani engine used in several motorcycles, but it was fitted with a Dynastart, which incorporated an advanced rotary valve in the crankshaft.
After only 163 cars, the motor was changed for the Excelsior 328-cubic centimeter twin with three more horsepower, and the Sports now became the type SE328, often incorrectly called the B65. The first six months’ cars retained the awkward column gear change. A Deluxe model was offered with hubcaps and spinners, a tachometer, and twin carbs. Production ran from January 1957 to April 1958. Many were exported to the U.S.A., but they were fitted with freestanding lamps on top of the fenders to meet lighting regulations there. The little car enjoyed considerable success in competition, and none other than Pat Moss, of Austin-Healey rally car fame, entered one in the grueling Liège-Brescia-Liège rally. This sharp example is red with a biscuit interior, and it has the appearance, almost, of a miniature Siata, with its egg crate grille and bumper guards.