Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This little gem of a booklet is little known amongst even literature collectors in our classic/vintage motorcycle movement, un-illustrated, it contains a mine of information on dating, with engine, frame numbers and changes to specifications during a model production.
It was produced for the motorcycle trade to assist them to identify models being traded in on another purchase and to work out a price. Glasses also produced a monthly “Glasses Guide to used motorcycle prices” to compliment the check book. Who are Glass’s ?
Glass's is part of the privately-owned EurotaxGlass group of companies that has operations in more than 30 European countries.
Automotive data is at the centre of the entire operation and the group provides leading-edge solutions to more than 25,000 customers across Europe in all sectors of the automotive market.
In the UK, Glass's employs almost 200 staff and is based in Weybridge, Surrey, UK.
William Glass was born in Scotland in 1881 and was an engineer by trade. As well as publishing the first Guide to Used Vehicle Values, Glass had an innovative and enquiring mind and made a number of inventions including the portable hydraulic jack, the electric switch-off kettle, the self-filling fountain pen and the through-the-propeller machine gun firing mechanism.
The founder of Glass’s Guide also manufactured cars under the Firefly marque for a short period of time in Croydon. Glass’s other innovations included the first motor auction and the first uniformed attendants at petrol filling stations.
Glass's was founded in 1933 by William Glass and the first Guide to Car Values was published in July of that year. Since that time the company has expanded into Commercial Vehicle, Motorcycle and Caravan values, supplying data in printed, electronic and web formats.Of interest to us is the small Motor Cycle Check Book, first published in 1957 and covering from just before 1950 to 1957, The next issue, which I have, as well as a range of several more check books up to about 1979, ran from 1950-1959 and is illustrated in this blog.
As you rarely see them for sale, I can’t hazard a guess at the price….
Left click on photos to enlarge.


William said...

I am lucky enough to have two 1950s editions of Glass's Car Check Book. They cover all British cars and imports from 1933 through the mid-1950s. Since I study the wartime and early-postwar periods, for all makes of cars around the world, I find these invaluable. You're right about the rarity of these small gems.

Vincentknight said...

Hi It a long time since this post, but do you own copies of these Glass's motorcycle check lists. I would love to have a copy of the VINCENT listing for 1955. I am having trouble with registration date with the DVLA here in the UK. It would help me greatly if you could post the appropriate page.

The Velobanjogent said...

"Vincentknight"....contact me directly by email....
I'll search out my copies of the relevant guide and scan for you and email back..
Kindest regards,
Dennis Quinlan
The Velobanjogent

Anonymous said...

Hi I have inherited 5 of these books from a motorbike enthusiast. They are dated 1952-1961, 1956-1963, 1957-1964, 1958-65 and 1959-66. They are of no use to me so I am considering listing them on e bay. any suggestions on how much I should ask for each of them would be gratefully received. Many thanks

Sandra said...

I am in battle with DVLA also to prove that my BMW R60/6 was manufactured in Aug 1973, I don't think they are going to accept a printout from the BMW web page....
I would be happy to pay for an excerpt from this guide, if in fact it covers foreign bikes?

The Velobanjogent said...

I've helped a few people from the UK with extracts from these Glasses check books and I've an extensive number from 1946 to 1976. But the engine frame number details come from the manufacturers and some seem reticent to release these figures... Triumph engine/frame numbers are scanty and unfortunately so are BMW.Glasses only have the engine numbers for the first R50/5, R60/5 and R75/5 and while they give details over the date for the first R60/6 eyc, there are no numbers so I can't help Sandra.
A pity...
Contact me at vegavoxbanjo@gmail.com if you want to discuss further.
I make no charge to supply scans from these booklets.
Kindest regards,
Dennis Quinlan.
The Velobanjogent

Hwfa Jones said...

Also in a 'battle' with DVLA to prove My motorcycle was manufactured Nov 73 - easily checked online from the VIN number on the Logbook/every MOT but DVLA 'Don't do that'
How can I get a printout of Glass's Check Book for BMW R90s 1973? which DVLA say they will accept.
Letters to Transport Minister, Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group, Owners Club and Manufacturets are all unanswered.