1935 Ariel 601cc 'Square Four'
Registration no. 826 YUB
Frame no. Y8698
Engine no. WA264
Designed by the legendary Edward Turner, the Ariel Square Four was first shown at Olympia in 1930. Unique at the time of its introduction, the 'Squariel', as it was swiftly dubbed, featured a single block of four cylinders and twin geared-together crankshafts with pistons phased at 180 degrees. The crankcase was split horizontally, unusually for a motorcycle engine of the period, while the vertical valves were operated by a single overhead camshaft. A supercharged example was raced at the Isle of Man TT in 1931 without success, which was hardly surprising as its makers had envisaged the model as more of a luxury tourer than an out-and-out sports machine.
Although launched as a '500', the Squariel was soon enlarged to 601cc with an eye on the important sidecar market, this bigger version being made available for the 1932 model year. In 1937 a total redesign saw it re-emerge as the Model 4G, with 995cc overhead-valve engine, making the Squariel an even more enticing prospect for sidecarists. 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 early Square Four has spent its entire life in Germany and for the past 25 years has been on display in the Brandstetter Motor Sport Museum at the Hockenheimring. Since acquisition by the UK-based vendor the machine has been extensively re-commissioned, including complete rewiring, although no major mechanical work was found necessary (invoices on file). The owner advises us that the Ariel runs smoothly with no exhaust smoke, and that gear changes are easy and positive. Described as 'unmolested' and in generally excellent mechanical condition, the machine is offered with VMCC dating letter, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5.
- Please note the MoT for this motorcycle expires 15 October 2011. Please also note there is a copy of, rather than original, dating certificate on file.