1934 Ariel 600cc 4F/6 Square Four
Frame no. Y4 401
Engine no. UA228
The Ariel Square Four made a sensational first appearance at the London Show in 1930; it duly stayed in the range for well over a quarter century, receiving three engine changes along the way. The initial 4F/5 was introduced as a 498cc sports model, but was boosted to 601cc the following year to become the more powerful 4F/6. In 1936, it morphed into a heavier and slightly less exciting overhead valve version known as the 995cc 4G. Designed circa 1929 for Ariel by newly hired Edward Turner though later modified for production by the legendary Val Page the revolutionary design rightfully assumed the role of Ariel flagship, providing a level of smoothness other manufacturers knew was unmatchable. Reports of the time agreed the concept was a refreshing alternative to the established v-twins or in-line fours. The press also appreciated the noise, described as "whirring like a well-tuned automobile!" One typically successful 4F/6 promotion stunt was the completion of 700 miles at Brooklands in less than 700 minutes, a feat comfortably achieved in 668 minutes, 14 seconds to be precise at an average of 62.82mph, equating to 101 kilometers per hour. After re-setting the tappets the same machine then completed a lap of the Outer Circuit at 87.4mph!
This 4-speed hand-change 'Squariel' was acquired by the vendor in 2008; in his words "...hidden in storage, bearing a 1946 license disc, complete, and still fitted with original War Dept tires!" The new owner, a long-time 'Old School' road racer and competent wrench-man, promptly began a 'nut and bolt' no-expense-spared rebuild, with the objective of creating a brand new motorcycle in show condition. The exercise took many months for it was imperative the finished machine conformed to original specification, aside from the judicious use of stainless steel fasteners. Since completion it has been run, checked and adjusted, and the oil has been changed. To date the vendor has deliberately not ridden it on the highway; he stresses that a break-in period is essential. The machine is offered with a contemporary sales brochure, workshop manual, and parts book, plus historic UK Licensing documents. According to the brochure the unique 4F/6 weighs a little over 400lbs, a remarkably modest figure when considering its complexity and quality of build. Ariel's decision to make a sporting Square Four during the Depression was brave; they didn't sell well, even when keenly priced (in 1934) at the UK equivalent of $220! Very few were made, hence ..
- This is model is the over head cam version.