Sunday, July 4, 2010
Introducing the Leader - Motor Cycling Magazine July 1958
People often tell me that the Leader was an unpopular motorbike and a failure. These views come with a substantial dose of hindsight and prejudice. For some reason, two-strokes are seen as something second rate amongst British motorcycle aficionados. While it's true that sales of the Leader and Arrow fell away after a couple of years, the Leader, when introduced, was a sensation. Quite rightly called "Tomorrow's design .... today!", the Leader was launched with much fanfare. The British 'Motor Cycling' magazine dedicated 27 pages of editorial, articles and advertising to the Leader, which I've presented in full here.
The single bare sentence "British Factory's Sensational Newcomer" gives no hint of what's to come.
Page one and Alpha Bearings have a full page advertisement linking themselves to the Leader engine.
Five full pages of dealer listings
An editorial lauding the Leader
Castrol oil jumps on the Leader bandwagon
Ariel take out a two page advertisement
Kings of Oxford, as the leading Ariel agent, present a full page advertisement
Motor Cycling's five page article about the Leader
The Leader's design team receive a full page article
Avon Tyres advertisement
Esso Oil also took out a full page advertisement
As does Shell Oil
More dealer advertisements
Assembly line photographs from the Selly Oak factory.
Mobil Oil also took out a full page advertisement
Dunlop Tyres add a full page advertisement for their white wall tyres.