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Lot 374: c.1961 Norton 498cc Manx

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

When production resumed post-WW2, Norton’s over-the-counter ‘Manx’ racers were much as their pre-war counterparts, with single-overhead-camshaft engine, ‘square’ cylinder head finning, upright gearbox and plunger-suspended ‘garden gate’ frames. Only the presence of the Roadholder telescopic front fork readily distinguished them from the ’39 machines. 1949 brought the first significant change in engine specification, the Manx gaining a double-overhead-camshaft ’head like that enjoyed by the works bikes for many years, but the major development was the arrival of the Featherbed frame for 1951. The works’ adoption of the McCandless-designed duplex-loop swinging-arm chassis the previous year had given the Nortons a welcome lease of life in Grand Prix racing, and Geoff Duke duly took both the 350 and 500cc world titles in 1951. The cycle parts remained essentially unchanged from then on, apart from the adoption of a double-sided, twin-leading-shoe front brake for 1962. Engine development though, continued steadily until production ceased at the end of ’62, the most significant design change being the adoption of ‘square’ bore and stroke dimensions for 1954. This late example, with the double-sided front brake, is presented in apparently good condition. Unfortunately, no information has come to light concerning its race history or detailed specification.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number374
Estimate£10000-£12000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£11500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£13225
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