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Lot 143: Ariel 499cc Model VHA Red Hunter

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

Val Page's arrival at Ariel in 1925 as Chief Designer would trigger an upturn in the Selly Oak firm's fortunes. By 1930 the Page-designed Ariel single had gained a rear-mounted magneto and its distinctive timing cover, and the engine's basic design - though frequently revised - would last well into the post-war era. In 1932 the sports versions were christened 'Red Hunter' and, under Page's successor Edward Turner, developed into fast and stylish machines. In mid-1946 the Hunters became the first models to feature Ariel's new telescopic front fork, and the following year could be ordered with the optional Anstey Link plunger rear suspension. For 1954 a new duplex loop frame with swinging-arm rear suspension was adopted and the 500cc VH gained an alloy cylinder head. The 350cc NH got the alloy 'head for 1956, full-width alloy hubs being adopted across the range at the same time, and the Red Hunters continued in this form until production of Ariel four-strokes ceased in 1959. Representing something of a 'Holy Grail' for Ariel enthusiasts, this particular Red Hunter is an example of the all-alloy engined VHA model produced for the 1952 and 1953 seasons only. The machine was last used on the road circa 15 years ago and will require re-commissioning, at the very least, before further use (the engine turns over). There are no documents with this Lot and it should be noted that the registration 'LOP 440' does not appear on the HPI register.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number143
Estimate£2800-£3800
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£2000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£2300
Year1952
Condition rating
Registration numberLOP 440
Mileage-
Chassis numberTCA 106
Engine numberSD 462
Engine capacity (cc)499
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors