Lot 482: 1947 Walter 250cc Racing Motorcycle
Czechoslovakian marque Walter was founded in Prague by Josef Walter early in the 20th Century, introducing its first motorcycle in 1902. Walter built its own engines and soon established a reputation for quality. Josefís two sons, Jan and Jaroslav, were involved on their fatherís business, and in 1938 engineer Jaroslav was responsible for an advanced 250cc overhead-valve racing engine, to which he later added an overhead-camshaft version, influenced by the design of the Excelsior Manxman. Not seen in action until after WW2, the Walter ohc racer featured fully enclosed valvegear and cylinder dimensions of 63.8x78mm bore/stroke. The gear driven BTH magneto was situated behind the cylinder and the carburettor was an Amal 10/TT9. In 1947 a 350cc version was introduced and the engineís cast-iron top-end superseded by a light alloy íhead with increased finning and an alloy barrel.
The first appearance of this very rare factory racing bike outside Czechoslovakia was in 1948 at the International Road Race at the Salzburgring in Austria, where it was ridden by Borivoi Sedlak. By the middle of 1948 Walter had built around 50 250/350cc racing engines. Sadly, that was the end of the line for Walter as an independent concern, and in 1949 Jaroslav Walter went to work for CZ. His engine was taken up by the Stakonice firm, becoming the forerunner of CZís successful line of 1960s Grand Prix racers.
This ultra-rare Walter racing motorcycle comes with a letter (dated 11th July 2000) from world-famous authority Dr Helmut Krackowizer stating that it is one of only three survivors of ten of its type made. Fully restored in 2000, it is presented in excellent condition throughout and offered with Czech papers.
Bonhams, Classic & Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford
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