1971 Bridgestone 345cc GTO
Registration no. FVN 56J
Frame no. NA1009668
Engine no. NA109724
Best known as one of the world's foremost tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone built motorcycles between 1952 and the early 1970s, establishing an unrivalled reputation for design innovation and engineering excellence. The Japanese company's flagship model was the GTR, a 345cc two-stroke twin with disc valve induction and a six-speed gearbox. This state-of-the-art motor produced 40bhp at 7,500rpm, an output good enough for a top speed of around 112mph and a standing quarter-mile time of 13 seconds. Bill Smith was the UK's official Bridgestone importer, selling around 1,200 models of all types in the late 1960s. There was also a street-scrambler version of the legendary GTR, the GTO, which was aimed at the United States market and never officially imported into the UK. A Bridgestone model rarely seen in this country, this GTO was imported from Indiana, USA by C G Chell Motorcycles of Stafford and first registered on 14th January 1992. Soon after its importation the GTO was purchased at a Runcorn auction by collector Don Leeson, and was featured in the short-lived magazine Japanese Classics (August 1992 edition, copy article available). At that time the Bridgestone had covered only some 1,900 miles, with only another 750-or-so being added to date. The machine has been on display since its acquisition by the museum in 2003 and is reported as running well when acquired. This ultra-rare Japanese classic is offered with the aforementioned article, copy workshop manual, technical information, VJMC dating letter, old US title, three expired MoTs (most recent expired October 2003), SORN letters, Swansea V5C registration document and two ignition keys.
- The engine does not currently turn over.