c.1938 Norton 490cc International Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 86624
Engine no. 83798
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 engines 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 Rudges 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 or Inter - that bore a closer resemblance to the works racers and was equally at home on the track. Presented in racing trim, this Inter has the aluminium-alloy cylinder barrel/head and plunger-suspended garden gate frame, options that become available in 1936 and 1938 respectively, and has been sensibly up-dated with the later Manx-type front brake. Acquired for the Museum in 1995 and last used in 2002, the machine is offered with purchase documentation.
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