1938 Norton 490cc ES2
Registration no. ACD 560
Frame no. 51107
Engine no. 56901
Introduced at the 1927 Motor Cycle Show, the ES2 sports roadster used the Model 18's overhead-valve engine in the cradle frame of the overhead-camshaft CS1, and from then onwards the 'ES2' designation was always applied to Norton's top-of-the-range overhead-valve single. The ES2 was built in several versions during a production run lasting until 1963, though the engine dimensions of 79x100mm bore/stroke - first adopted by James Lansdowne Norton in 1911 - remained unchanged to the end. Post-war developments included the adoption of an alloy cylinder head (1955), alternator (1959) and the slim-line version of the Featherbed frame introduced on the single-cylinder range for 1961. Production of all of Norton's traditional singles ended in 1963, though the 'ES2' designation was later applied to a re-badged Matchless.
First registered in October 1938, this example was purchased by the vendor in 2008 from Isle of Man-based collector, the late Mick Ruocco, having benefited from restoration work carried out (circa 2000/2002) by its previous two owners. This included renewing much of the paintwork with the exception of the petrol and oil tanks, which are thought to retain their original chromium plating and paint. Restoration notes in the document file indicate that the previous owners rebuilt the engine with new main, big-end and small-end bearings; piston and rings; cam gear bush; and valves, guides and springs. In addition, the gearbox was stripped and checked, with one bearing being replaced.
Since acquiring 'ACD 560' the vendor has not had the time to re-commission and use the Norton, his riding time taken up by his other motorcycles. It is for this reason that he has decided to pass it on to another owner. During his ownership the machine has been dry-stored and the engine turned over at intervals.
First registered in Brighton, 'ACD 560' comes with an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1945) listing three owners, all in the Sussex area. The nameplate of the supplying dealer - Hewett Brothers of Hove, Sussex - is still attached. Other paperwork consists of the aforementioned restoration notes; sundry invoices; VMCC dating certificate; a quantity of old tax discs and MoT certificates; and old/current Swansea V5/V5C documents. 'ACD 560' is presently on SORN and will need re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the road.
- Please note this is a more desirable 1933 machine, matching numbers, despatched to Bridger, Brighton, 29 Sept 1933 and sold new to a Mr Grover on 5 October 1933.