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Lot 293: c1936 Norton 490cc International Racing Motorcycle

Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles, Bonhams & Butterfields (12 November 2005)

Following its successful Senior TT-winning debut in 1927, the overhead-camshaft Norton had enjoyed mixed fortunes in the Isle of Man, and when the engine’s designer, Walter Moore, left to join NSU, Arthur Carroll was charged with carrying out an extensive redesign. First seen in the works racers in 1930, the new motor borrowed features from the successful KTT Velocette, contriving to look very different from its predecessor while remaining unmistakably Norton in execution. The Carroll engine retained the classic 79x100mm bore/stroke dimensions and shaft-and-bevels cam drive of the Moore unit but shifted the magneto drive to the right-hand end of the crankshaft where it was enclosed in a distinctive timing case. The new overhead-cam racer was not an immediate success - 1930 was Rudge’s year in the Isle of Man - but came good in 1931 when works rider Tim Hunt kick-started a four-year period of Norton TT domination by winning both the Junior and Senior events. Towards the end of 1930, the Carroll-type engine was introduced on the CS and CJ road models, and in 1932 these were joined by a new top-of-the-range sports roadster - the ‘International’ - that bore a closer resemblance to the works racers and was equally at home on the track.

Presented in racing trim, this Inter has been sensibly up-dated with the later (post-war) alloy cylinder and ’head. While its engine number dates from circa 1936, the plunger-suspended ‘garden gate’ frame did not become available (as an option) until 1938. We understand that the engine was built by Maurice Candy. This machine is offered with a Bill of Sale.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Lot Number293
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$18000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$20700
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine number66157
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors