The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT,1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 31663
Lot 492
The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT,1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 31663
Sold for €3,450 (US$ 4,357) inc. premium

Lot Details
The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT,1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 31663 The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT,1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 31663 The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT,1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 31663
The ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT
1962 Fruin Dartela 50cc Six-Speed Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. 31663
This 50cc racing motorcycle is the work of independent engineer H L 'Bert' Fruin of Hillingdon, Middlesex, who constructed a series of technically interesting 'specials' in the 1950s and 1960s, including a DOHC 125cc twin-cylinder racer and a modular V4/V8 engine. Proprietor of H L Fruin Motorcycles in Hillingdon, Bert began competing on his Italian Demm Demon-based 50cc two-stroke Dartela racers in the late 1950s and rode them at the Isle of Man TT in 1962 and 1963, retiring on both occasions. (He also built a 200cc Four using Demm top-ends and later NSU Quickly components, which was sold in kit form as a crankcase and set of crankshaft blueprints). Further tuned by Bert, the 50cc Demon engine went into a frame of his own design. Although it fared reasonably well against the ubiquitous Itoms, the Dartela was handicapped by its three-speed gearbox (the Itoms had four speeds) so for the inaugural 50cc Isle of Man TT in 1962, Bert produced a longer frame to accommodate an additional Albion two-speed 'overdrive' gearbox (actually a horticultural cultivator 'box, suitably modified) giving six speeds in total. The integral gearbox was operated by a twist-grip on the left handlebar, the overdrive by a foot change on the right. Ridden by Bill Fruin himself, the solitary six-speed Dartela retired with engine trouble on the first lap of the 50cc TT, a race won by Suzuki-mounted Ernst Degner. Bert recorded another 'DNF' at the 1963 TT but it is not known whether he rode the six-speed Dartela on that occasion. Kept on museum display for the last 15 years, this unique machine is in running condition but will nevertheless require re-commissioning before returning to the racetrack. Offered with sundry press cuttings.

Footnotes

  • Ex-Bert Fruin, Isle of Man TT
    Fruin Dartela 50 cm3 six vitesses Course 1962
    Moteur n° 31663

    Cette moto de course de 50 cm3 est l'œuvre d'un ingénieur indépendant, H. L. "Bert" Fruin d'Hillington (Middlesex) constructeur d'une série d'intéressantes "spéciales" dans les années 1950 et 1960 dont une moto bicylindre 125 cm3 à 2 ACT et un moteur modulaire V4/V8. Propriétaire de la firme HL Fruin Motorcycles à Hillington, Bert aborda la compétition avec ses machines de course Dartela 50 cm3 construites sur base Demm Demon en les pilotant au TT de l'Ile de Man en 1962 et 1963 où il abandonna à chaque occasion. (Il construisit aussi une « quatre » de 200 cm3 en reprenant le haut moteur Demm et des composants NSU plus récents vendus sous forme de kit dont un carter et un jeu de plans d'ensemble mobile). Préparé par Bert, le moteur 50 cm3 Demon fut installé dans une partie cycle maison. Malgré de bonnes performances face aux excellentes Itom, la Dartela était handicapée par sa boîte à trois rapports (contre quatre pour l'Itom) si bien que pour le TT de l'Ile de Man 1962 inaugural de la catégorie 50 cm3, Bert conçut un cadre plus long susceptible de recevoir un surmultiplicateur additionnel Albion à deux rapports (en fait une boîte de cultivateur agricole convenablement modifiée) donnant six rapports au total. La boîte intégrale était actionnée par une poignée tournante côté gauche et le surmultiplicateur par un sélecteur au pied droit. Pilotée par Bert Fruin en personne, l'unique Dartela six vitesses abandonna sur problème moteur dès le premier tour du TT 50 cm3, épreuve remportée par Ernst Degner sur Suzuki. Bert connut un autre abandon au TT 1963, mais on ignore s'il pilotait la Dartela six vitesses dans cette course. Conservée dans un musée depuis 15 ans, cette machine unique en son genre est en état de fonctionnement, mais elle nécessite une révision complète avant de reprendre la piste. Offerte avec un copieux dossier de coupures de presse.
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