A package of information about Flexispeed, Meteor and Simat lathes, including handbooks and drawings, is available
Flexispeed Meteor 11--few survive with the headstock badge intact. More pictures of this original example here. The same lathe, but less the automatic carriage traverse and with a single swivelling toolslide, it was known as the "Meteor 1".
Simat 101 By the end of the 1970s the "Norfolk Lathe & Tool Company Ltd" of Royston House, North Walsham had taken over the lathe and offered it both as a finished unit and a kit of parts for home assembly. Manufacture and marketing then passed into the hands of Alphabeta Engineering of Gamers Way Industrial Estate, North Walsham, Norfolk when it became known as the Simat 101; in an attempt to make the lathe self-contained it was offered in a "deluxe" version with a motor and simple countershaft unit made from propriety "Picador" parts. The worm-and-wheel drive to the leadscrew as used on late-model Flexispeed was wisely retained. The next stage in the lathe's evolution was to be the Perris
Obviously inspired by the Flexispeed the Perris Lathe was the immediate forerunner of the better-known and very successful Cowells 90
Above and below, additional pictures of Flexispeed Mk. 1A circa 1948/49.
A genuine Flexispeed countershaft. Seldom found this 3 kg cast iron unit is 18 inches high and capable of holding a heavy motor
Remains of a Flexispeed transfer on the countershaft base
After the fitting of backgear and auto feed the next stage was to equip the lathe with screwcutting and a dog clutch on the leadscrew. The screwcutting attachment was, in relative terms, very expensive - with its 10 changewheels it added 48% to the basic (1965) price of £31 : 9 : 6d. The lathe was supplied with covers over gears and belt drive - removed for the photograph.
Rear view of the backgeared, screwcutting Flexispeed