1974 Norton Commando 850cc Dunstall Production Race Replica
Frame no. 850F 11624
Engine no. 316475
The boldly styled 750 Commando Fastback was announced at the London Show in 1967, followed within 18 months by the conventional and far more popular Roadster model. Norton's free-spinning 750 motor acted as a magnet for UK performance specialists, amongst whom Gus Kuhn and Paul Dunstall were the most highly regarded. Both shops were soon offering a huge variety of hop-up equipment in what had become a rapidly expanding aftermarket. Production racing (for stock street-legal machines) was very fashionable in the 1960s, with several manufacturers participating directly, or discreetly thru dealers. Norton employed a straightforward approach, instructing their Norton Villiers Performance Shop at Thruxton Circuit to hand-build batches of Production Racers, distinguished by a bright yellow color scheme, which was somehow universally accepted. An early version was tested in 1969 by Cycle World magazine at 130mph, much to the consternation of the rival BSA/Triumph concern! In 1973 the 750 Commando was replaced by the sturdier, lower revving 850, which actually displaced 828cc. In either Roadster or Interstate trim the 850 sold well, though with most race events restricted to 750cc they were rarely used competitively.
Given the above ingredients the high spec 850 Norton ticks a great many boxes! Since undergoing restoration by the acknowledged Norton guru, Ken Armann of Campbell, CA, the two-owner machine has completed just over 5250 miles. Visibly similar to the original Production Racer the bike is enhanced by the fitment of certain Dunstall items such as the replica mufflers; also included are Koni shocks, K & N filter, new Akront rims laced with stainless steel spokes, anti-siphon delivery valve, Magura clip-on handlebars; indeed, the bike bristles with functional upgrades throughout warranting a close inspection. Norton produced around 50,000 Commandos, but few are as handsome as this! Offered on a Certificate of Title.