Goulding Sidecars



Motorcycle enthusiasts and history buffs alike will love the story of James Goulding and his sidecars.
One hundred years ago in 1910, my grandfather, James Goulding built his first sidecar in Melbourne, Australia. In 1956 He built his last sidecar in Saginaw, Michigan. A lot of Motorcycle History happened between these two events and James and his famous family were a part of 80 years of Bike History. Mr. Goulding was born in Carlisle, England in 1885. His family emigrated to Australia when he was four years old. James grew to be an energetic and ambitious worker and had his own home building business (and his first Harley-Davidson) by 1908. James designed his first sidecar to haul his building tools, and from the beginning he used his chassis idea with the floating axle system that made them so durable.

In 1915, he had his sidecar manufacturing business well underway.  In 1911, he married Mary Olive Ratford.  In 1912 Olive, as James called her, gave birth to motorcycling's most famous lady, Dot (Goulding) Robinson.  She wasn't born in a sidecar as legend has it, but her mother was rushed to the doctor in a 1911 Harley belt-drive motorcycle with a Goulding sidecar.  In 1915, Claude Goulding was born and in 1917 my mother Edna Goulding was added to the clan.  By 1917,  Goulding Sidecars were the primary brand in Australia and New Zealand.  In 1920, James decided to introduce his product in America.  He did this with a 12,000 mile tour of the U.S. using a 1917 Harley "J' Model 1000cc with his sidecar.  One part of this tour was a transcontinental run from New York to San Francisco.  Photos attest to how nasty the dirt and sand roads were a good deal of the way.  The trip ended at Dudley Perkin's Harley-Davidson dealership in San Francisco.

James started a motorcycle dynasty in which his sidecars became famous and his children became famous for endurance racing. And the website on Goulding Sidecars has tons of interesting material: stories, photographs, videos, technical information, and updates. Link -via Everlasting Blort

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