1938 Ariel Square 4,
Lot 272
1938 Ariel 998cc Model 4G Square Four
Sold for £18,975 (US$ 31,893) inc. premium
Lot Details
1938 Ariel 998cc Model 4G Square Four
Designed by Edward Turner, creator of the legendary Triumph Speed Twin, the first Ariel Square Four was shown at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in 1930. Conceived as an overhead-camshaft 500, the model grew to 601cc before a total redesign saw it emerge as the Model 4G, with 995cc overhead-valve engine, in 1937. Anstey-link plunger rear suspension became an option in 1939, but would not be offered again until 1946, when a telescopic front fork replaced the previous girder type. An exercise in weight shedding saw the cast-iron cylinder head and barrel replaced by alloy components for 1949, the revised model, now capable of 90mph-plus, being known as the Mark I. Introduced in 1953, the ‘four pipe’ MkII with re-designed cylinder head elevated the Square Four into the league of genuine 100mph motorcycles. Square Four production, along with that of all other Ariel four-strokes, ceased in 1959. To date, the innovative Ariel Square Four remains unique in motorcycling history; a true ‘gentleman’s motorcycle, this refined yet characterful machine retains an enthusiastic and loyal following, and is highly prized by discerning enthusiasts.

This Model 4G has undergone a major restoration. We are advised that the petrol tank retains its instrument panel complete with inspection lamp and gauges, and that it and the wheels have been re-chromed, repainted in the correct Ariel red and gold lined. In addition, the black-finished cycle parts have all been restored to a high standard, the engine fully rebuilt and the gearbox checked over. Both the rear stand and optional side stand are present and the machine boasts the 8” headlamp and correct tail light, while of particular interest are the correct mudguards, which are virtually impossible to find these days. This well presented pre-war Square Four is offered with Swansea V5C registration document.

Saleroom notices

  • 1938 Ariel 998cc Model 4G Square Four Registration no. CNM 491 Frame no. P1436 Engine no. DE170 We are advised that this motorcycle was first registered on 18th November 1938 (and thus is a 1939 model) and is fitted with a concealed anti-theft switch that cuts out the ignition. The machine is taxed until the end of March 2009 and MoT’d until 1st April 2009.