Puma Packaway



Around 1975 Crayford found the Puma Folding Motorcycle during a visit to Italy. It was designed and built by Di Blasi of Vizzini in Italy, where a small staff of 5 people were assembling over 1,000 machines a year. Crayford signed up for the sole UK franchise to market the Puma Packaway. Most were bought by boat owners, Crayford had a yacht and appreciated straight away its on shore potential. Crayford’s trimmer, Oxted Trimming, manufactured special carring bags on wheels for the Puma for £9-50 pence each, the machine itself retailed at £263 – 69p. Crayford did good business and sold hundreds every year, eventually selling on their franchise. They can still be purchased at large boat chandlers for about £2,500.

Early models carry the Crayford logo and an 8 legged cat (Argocat) transfers on either side of the petrol tank. The wheels and tyres are thin and small, modern ones have large off road pineapple treads.

When folded the Puma would fit inside the boot of a Mini.

Popular with entrepreneurs who used the road registered bikes in businesses such as pizza delivery; car and van delivery; and a ‘drive you home’ service that was offered to car owners who had drunk too much to drive themselves. Director Jeff Smith, after too much wine, once drove one after hours around the exhibition stands of the Motor Show, stealing other exhibitors number plates. When they were carpeted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers, Crayford of course promised that the staff member responsible would be punished, but never admitted it was their own co-director.

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