Sphinx Motor Co.

Sphinx motorcycles were were made by A.D. Tyler at the Sphinx Motor Co., of either Bent or Peel Street Adelaide, SA. They started in around 1903. There are references to Sphinx Browns which would indicate the use of Brown engines, but the example shown here used a 3h.p. watercooled Advance engine. Tyler himself had a 2 3/4h.p. example in 1903-4. During 1904 there was a fire at the works, in which 12 machines were destroyed. Tyler imported complete Advance machines including tricars which he badged as 'Sphinx'.


An example of a Sphinx motorcycle with 3hp watercooled Advance engine.


An example of Advance's 3hp watercooled engine.

The example shown here is thought to be from around 1903-4, however the engine is later from around 1907-12. It can be dated from the Advance Adjustable pulley, which were introduced from 1907. The pulley has been modified at some stage, by removing the locking collar and brazing the two halves together. The bike was found the in an abandoned butcher shop in rural South Australia.The engine had been removed and mounted to drive a mincing machine. The frame etc was stored in a shed at the back of the shop. When found the engine had been mounted between four pieces of flat steel and part of the lettering had been chiseled off both sides to allow the flats to fit.


Another view of a Sphinx motorcycle.