Rudge Whitworth Cycles resulted from the merger of two bicycle manufacturers in 1894, Whitworth Cycles of Birmingham, founded by Charles Henry Pugh and Rudge Cycle Co of Coventry, founded by Daniel Rudge of Wolverhampton. Rudge motorcycles were produced from 1911 to 1939 and the the firm was known for its innovations in engine and transmission design, and its racing successes. Their sales motto was "Rudge it, do not trudge it." The company also produced the first successful detachable wire wheel and hub design, referred to as "knockoff" wheels on sports cars, and some 500s, well into the 1960s.

During the 1920s and 30s Rudge had a number of high profile racing successes including the Ulster Grand Prix in 1929  and victory in multiple classes in the Isle of Man TT.

Rudge made a number of suitable 500 cc engines including various denominations of the Ulster, TT, Python as well as specific Dirt Track bikes but production ceased in 1939 so, while a number of early cars adopted Rudge power, they were quickly eclipsed by JAP and Manx Norton units.

Ulster engine

Notable Rudge powered cars include


Aikens (in later form),


DNC (Norman Dewis),

ETZ (Ernst Zierk),

FHB (Frank Bacon),




Sidney Special,

SMS (Jeff Sparrowe),

Squanderbug (Gerald Spink),