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Lot 171: Norton 490cc Model 30 International

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

One of the most charismatic model names in motorcycling history, 'International' was first used by Norton for its top-of-the-range sports roadster in 1932. Based on the works bikes and intended for racing, the overhead-camshaft International could nevertheless be ordered with refinements such as lights and a kickstart-equipped gearbox. By the time production halted in 1939 it was being built with a four-speed foot-change 'box and plunger rear suspension (the 'Garden Gate' frame), reappearing after the war in similar guise save for the adoption of the hydraulically-damped Roadholder front fork, which replaced the pre-war girder. In 1953 the 'Inter' received the Manx's race-developed Featherbed frame together with an all-alloy engine and 'laid down' gearbox, this being the last significant change made to the model before its deletion. 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 these later machines incorporating Manx components. We are advised that this matching-numbers Model 30 has been fitted from new with Manx-type magnesium alloy crankcases finished in black, while the gearbox has the high 9.5:1 'Daytona' 1st gear ratio. The accompanying NOC dating letter reveals that the machine was despatched new to Gresswell of Grimsby in July 1956. The vendor bought the Inter as a restoration project 10 years ago, completing the rebuild in 2006 and registering it three years ago. Described as in generally good condition, the machine is offered with expired MoT (March 2010), SORN and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number171
Estimate£10000-£14000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£8000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£9200
Year1956
Condition rating
Registration number936 XUR
Mileage-
Chassis numberL11 69728
Engine number69728 L11
Engine capacity (cc)490
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors