John Alfred Prestwich
John Alfred Prestwich to whom was born in 1874 was the eventual founder of JA Prestwich Motors. At the age of 20, the young Prestwich had made a hobby of making scientific instruments behind his father's house in Tottenham, London. 
A year later in 1875, Prestwich now a small-time manufacturer had founded JA Prestwich Motors, a business operated behind his family home. Prestwich became renowned as quality manufacturer for cinematographic parts. Prestwich notably providing services to notables such as electrical engineer, Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti and renowned photographer, William Friese-Green.
JAP would continue to be a prominent cinema manufacturer to which through the 20th Century the company had such noted suppliers as the Warwick Trading Company and the film producer and distributor, Charles Urban. However the company would begin to expand from its base in cinematic manufacturing.
In 1901, Prestwich had sketched the design of what would become his first engine construction. Prestwich had drawn a design for a JAP motorcycle engine. In 1903, Prestwich had completed the construction of his first motorcycle, the JAP. 
Over the next few years, JAP became a popular motorcycle manufacturer. However in 1908, Prestwich ceased the production of the JAP motorcycle to focus the company development on engine design. The new engines that JAP were designing were proving to be popular and applicable across a wide range of appliances.
Not only was JAP an engine supplier to motorcycles but also used to supply the design of early aircraft, chainsaws, cultivators and rail road maintenance trucks. The JAP was a popular choice due to its focus on providing a lightweight accommodating engines.
Due to the JAP's engines being both affordable and flexible to install, motorcycle manufacturers had continued to design motorcycles to be fitted with a JAP engine ever since JAP's withdrawal from being a complete motorcycle manufacturer in 1908.
The JAP was a popular choice for a wide range of British motor cycle manufacturers during the early 1920's. JAP engined motorcycles also notably having success abroad to which a JAP engined motorcycle had won the 1924 Wanderpreis von Deutschland.
JAP was also heavily involved in the early history of the Isle of Man TT to which a rider using a JAP engined motor cycle won the very first Isle of Man TT race in 1907. In fact in 1925, JAP commissioned the first ever historical piece of the Isle of Man to which was titled "The Tale of the TT".
Although JAP was the most successful engine supplier to British motor cycle racing throughout the 1920's, the company had never built their engines specifically for motor cycle racing. One of the company leads, Stan Greening believed the company's success would increase further if it began to make focus more attention on building a specific motor cycle engine. 
Greening took the company founder, John Alfred Prestwich to a motor race at the Stamford Bridge Speedway in a hope to peak his interest. Although his company had enjoyed success in motorsport for a number of years, Prestwich, regarded motor racing as little more than a "craze" and was not at all convinced to invest any further time into motorsport.. 
However his attitude began to change in 1929 when JAP was approached by motor cycle racer, Bill Bragg whom wanted a custom built JAP engine that was designed to specifically fit his motor cycle. Bragg hoped a customised JAP engine would provide him with greater mechanical success over his opponents.
Prestwich, however remained opposed to creating custom built engines for motorcycle manufacturers. His decision however was swayed when his daughter, Vivian, a motorcycle fan was able to persuade her father to change his mind.
The motorcycle community were sure that Bragg's new JAP engine would immediately be destroyed. However at its test outing at Crystal Palace, the JAP performed excellently to which persuaded Prescott to follow through on his decision to become a motor sport engine supplier. Throughout the 1930's, JAP expanded into being the most successful engine supplier in motor cycle racing.
In 1927 it was confirmed that a JAP engine was used to supply the engines for a motor boat race. The ex-motorcycle racer, Kenneth Twemlow had the idea of transitioning the JAP engine to motor boats when he switched his category of racing. The JAP engine immediately won its first race in motor boats.
Formula 500 / Formula Three
|Year||Entrant||Engine||Tyre||Drivers||Rounds||WCC Pts||WCC Pos||Test drivers||Report|
List of race wins
Complete Formula One Results
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|