1936 Rudge 500 Special Frame no. 63457 Engine no. S5191
Lot 386
1936 Rudge 500 Special
Frame no. 63457 Engine no. S5191
Sold for US$ 7,475 inc. premium
Lot Details
1936 Rudge 500 Special
Frame no. 63457
Engine no. S5191
Formed by the acquisition in 1894 of the Rudge Cycle Company Ltd by the Pugh Whitworth Cycle Company, Rudge-Whitworth built its first motorcycle in 1910, in Coventry, England and is best remembered for its pioneering use of four-valve cylinder heads. Rudge-Whitworth's first four-valve production motorcycle appeared in 1924, and the company persevered with the layout until manufacture ceased at the outbreak of WW II. The motorcycling public's response to this new four-valve, four-speed model was enthusiastic. In 1924 twice as many machines had been produced as in the previous year.

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 that led to the introduction of the legendary Rudge Ulster sports model. A variety of valve arrangements was tried across a range of 250, 350 and 500cc models, and by the mid-1930s had stabilized, the Special employing a parallel layout and the Ulster a parallel/semi-radial combination. It should be noted that despite its name, the Special was the touring 500, the Ulster being the sports version. A compact machine with a willing engine and powerful brakes, the 500 Special is a delight to ride easily coping with present-day traffic.

This example is clearly no longer to original specification and equally is "well ridden". A Special "Special", if you like, that little is known about. This neat machine could be enjoyed as is, or become a restoration opportunity limited only to original parts availability. Either way, the old sales slogan "Rudge it, do not trudge it" must surely apply here.
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