were produced by Hill Brothers of Walsall Street, Wolverhampton. The company
was founded in 1914 by brothers Walter Hill, Tom Hill and Roland Hill.
Their first model, using a
2¾hp., side-valve, Blackburne engine, was launched
in 1919, and sold for £73.10s.0d. Due to the high rate of
inflation at the time, the selling price had increased to
£99.15s.0d. by 1921.
From an edition of 'The Motor Cycle' dated 27th
The H.B. 2¾hp. two-speed, solo mount,
medium-weight machine, powered by a Blackburne engine. From 'The Motor Cycle' magazine of 4th
September, 1919. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
|The 2¾hp. medium-weight machine
from 1919 had a 350c.c. Blackburne engine, and a 2-speed gearbox mounted below the bottom bracket, with a speed-change lever mounted on a lug on the frame below the tank,
fitted with a patent spring selector. The drive consisted of a
¼ inch Coventry chain
gearbox, and a ¾ inch Dunlop belt to the rear wheel.
The machine had a
kick starter, a hand-operated Ferodo lined clutch, and a Brooks saddle.
It had an unusual silencer that it was carried
together with the tail pipe, within a neat sub-frame which
carried the foot boards. Downward sloping slots in the rear fork ends allowed the rear
wheel to be easily detached. The mudguards were very wide, with
a substantial flap on the front mudguard to prevent splashes
reaching the rider. The machine was finished in black, and
lined in gold.
An H.B. machine from 1921.
|H.B. machines had a chain and belt drive until 1921, when an all-chain drive
version was released.
Although sales were poor, the
company increased its product range to five models in 1922.
Sales didn't improve and
production ended in 1923.
An advert from the 25th March, 1920 edition of
'The Motor Cycle'. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
|The photograph on the right is of Roland Hill, who
rode in the 1922 Isle of Man T.T. on a 350c.c. H.B. machine. He
achieved an average
speed of 50m.p.h.on the 27 mile course and had high hopes of
winning the race.
Unfortunately a change of tyres, 24 hours
before the race, led to his downfall.