c.1933 Rudge 499cc Ulster TT Replica Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. to be advised
Engine no. 101
The full potential of Rudge's four-valves-per-cylinder design was slow to emerge but in 1928 Graham Walker's works 500 became the first motorcycle to win a road race - the Ulster Grand Prix - at an average speed in excess of 80mph, a feat which led to the introduction of the legendary 'Ulster' sports model. Early engines deployed parallel valves in a pent-roof combustion chamber, then in 1930 a trio of 350s appeared at the Isle of Man with radially-disposed valves, the new arrangement demonstrating its superiority when the Rudges finished 1, 2, 3 in the Junior TT. The next move was to produce a 'head for the 500 featuring parallel inlet valves and radial exhausts, the chief advantage of which was reduced complication. This 'semi-radial' arrangement debuted on the 1931 works bikes and in 1933 first appeared on the Ulster and TT Replica models, the only road-going Rudges to use it.
In the same family ownership since 1938, this Rudge Ulster was raced by the late Gerald Selby of Lytchett Matravers at the last Brands Hatch grass track meeting prior to WW2. In May 1947 Selby competed on it at the famous road race held at Bryanston Park near Blandford in Dorset. The use of this makeshift course had been forced on the organising Blackmore Vale MCC when they were told that their intended venue could not be used on a Sunday. The Blackmore Club moved on to the Blandford circuit in 1948 and it seems that the Bryanston course was used only the once. Selby rode well, bagging a 1st and two 2nds in the heats, and was mentioned in contemporary press reports.
Records indicate that the TT Replica engine '101' was originally in frame number '51403' but at time of cataloguing it had not been possible to locate the frame number of this machine. Virtually 100% complete, the Rudge last ran circa 50 years ago, at which point it was put into a 'preservation state'. The machine is offered with a copy of the Bryanston programme and period photographs of its late owner competing there and at Brands Hatch.
- The frame number is: 51405