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Lot 406: 1929 Norton 490cc Model 18

Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 October 2005)

Like the majority of their contemporaries, Norton relied on the sidevalve engine until the 1920s, when the existing and well-tried 490cc unit was used as the basis for the firmís first overhead-valve design. Penned by James Lansdowne Norton himself and first seen in prototype form in 1922, the overhead-valve Norton made little impact in that yearís Senior TT, though at Brooklands D R OíDonovan raised the world 500cc kilometre record to over 89mph using the new motor. A road-going version - the Model 18 - was catalogued for 1923, quickly establishing a reputation for both speed and reliability when a standard engine assembled from parts was used to set a host of records, including a new 12 hours mark. Alec Bennett won the Senior TT for Norton in 1924 and, demonstrating that racing really did improve the breed, the Model 18 gaining Webb forks and better brakes for 1925 as a direct result of the works teamís experiences.

The Model 18 retained its essentially vintage characteristics until 1931 when the range was extensively redesigned, the most obvious external alteration in its appearance before then being the adoption of a Ďsaddleí tank for 1929. Today the vintage Model 18 enjoys landmark status as Nortonís first overhead-valve roadster and is highly prized by discerning enthusiasts.

First registered on 27th March 1929 in Cumbria, this vintage Model 18 underwent full restoration in 2003/2005, the work carried out including repainting the frame and cycle parts, re-plating the nickelled brightwork, rebuilding the engine, renewing the transmission and overhauling the carburettor and mag-dyno. Currently on a SORN, the machine is offered with recently expired MoT (30th April 2005) and Swansea V5C registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number406
Estimate£8000-£10000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£7000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£8050
Year1929
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number41655
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors