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Lot 295: 1956 Norton 490cc International

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

Norton first applied the name ‘International’ to its overhead-camshaft model in 1932. A ‘racer for the road’, the top-of-the-range Inter was based on the works machines but could be ordered with refinements such as lights and a kickstart-equipped gearbox. By the time production halted in 1939 the Inter was being built with four-speed foot-change gearbox and plunger rear suspension, re-appearing after the war in similar guise save for the adoption of the hydraulically-damped Roadholder front fork which replaced the pre-war girder. The model received Norton’s race-developed Featherbed frame for 1953, an alloy cylinder barrel/head the new ‘laid down’ gearbox being adopted at the same time. Expensive to make and challenged by cheaper parallel twins of comparable performance, the Inter ceased to be catalogued after 1955 but could still be obtained to special order until 1958, many of the later machines incorporating Manx components.

Completely restored ten-or-so years ago, this machine came from a private collection in Europe by way of Brian Verrall’s establishment in the UK circa 1999 and is a good example of the late Featherbed-framed, alloy-engined Inter. This machine is offered with a Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction Sale of Collectors' Motorcycles
Bonhams & Butterfields, Petersen Museum, Los Angeles, CA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number295
Estimate$12000-$14000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$14000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$16100
Year1956
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number11L69735
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors