1935 Excelsior 350cc Model F12 Manxman
Frame no. ME310
Engine no. CXR316
Although it had proved fast enough to win the 1933 Lightweight TT in Syd Gleave's hands, Excelsior's complex twin-cam, radial four-valve Mechanical Marvel proved something of a disappointment thereafter, and at the end of the 1934 season the Tyseley firm opted for a simpler design - the Manxman. Like the Marvel, the Manxman's Ike Hatch-designed engine was built by Blackburne, though increasing friction with its engine supplier forced Excelsior to take over production early in 1936, with further developments masterminded by Melbournian, Alan Bruce, the company's Technical Manager.
A single-overhead-camshaft, two-valve design, the Manxman was built in 250, 350 and 500cc capacities. Sports roadster and racing versions were offered, though the 500 was only ever marketed as the former. Although it never won a TT, the Manxman enjoyed considerable success in international racing and the Manx Grand Prix, Denis Parkinson winning the MGP Lightweight race three times on the trot between 1936 and 1938. Notable Manxman developments included the switch to a shorter-stroke 250 engine in 1937 and the adoption (also applied to the 350) of an aluminium-alloy cylinder head with right-hand exhaust port. Ask any Excelsior enthusiast and they will tell you that in terms of performance, component quality, ease-of-maintenance and rider pleasure, the Manxman is a better road machine than the Velocette KSS or Norton International. Sadly, unlike its rivals, the Manxman did not resume production after WW2 and today is one of the most sought after of all post-Vintage thoroughbred motorcycles.
This particular Manxman carries a South African tax disc that expired in February 2013, which may be taken to indicate that it was in use relatively recently. The machine is offered with three rally finisher's certificates (most recent March 2011) and Republic of South Africa registration papers showing virtually continuous licensing from 1998 to 2010. A box of miscellaneous spares is included in the sale.