1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. BOR/R 39597
Lot 204
1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. BOR/R 39597
Sold for €12,650 (US$ 15,457) inc. premium

Lot Details
1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. BOR/R 39597 1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. BOR/R 39597 1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. BOR/R 39597 1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. BOR/R 39597
1935 Cotton-JAP 250cc Racing Motorcycle
Engine no. BOR/R 39597
Gloucester-based Cotton established its reputation with a string of racing successes in the 1920s thanks to an innovative frame patented by Frank Willoughby Cotton. Cotton's design featured four straight tubes running from the steering head to the rear wheel spindle, augmented by straight stays supporting the gearbox and engine. The result was a stiff, lightweight chassis vastly superior to the bicycle-derived frame used by the majority of manufacturers. Cotton relied on proprietary engines but such was the advantage conferred by its frame that the Cotton had little trouble seeing off similarly powered rivals. The legendary Stanley Woods made his Isle of Man TT debut on a Cotton in 1922, winning the Junior event at record speed the following year. Countless wins were achieved in international events throughout the 1920s, Cotton's finest TT achievement occurring in 1926 when its entries finished 1, 2, 3 in the 250 Lightweight race. Powered by JAP and Blackburne proprietary engines, Cotton's racers continued to be competitive into the 1930s but eventually had to give best to companies possessing the resources to develop their own power units. Previously owned by Wilf Green of Sheffield, the UK's MZ importer, this well presented Cotton-JAP had already been restored and was in running condition at the time of its purchase in Austria in 2006. Noteworthy features include the rare and desirable bronze cylinder head, twin-float Bowden carburettor and four-speed Burman gearbox with foot change. Kept on display at the Hockenheim Museum since acquisition, the machine is offered with sundry restoration notes (in German) and assorted photocopies of Cotton-related literature.

Footnotes

  • Cotton-JAP 250 cm3 Type Course 1935
    Moteur n° BOR/R 39597

    La firme Cotton établie à Manchester fonda sa réputation dans les années 1920 sur une série de succès en compétition obtenus grâce à un cadre innovateur breveté par Frank Willoughby Cotton. Le cadre Cotton se caractérisait par quatre tubes droits reliant la tête de fourche à l'axe de la roue arrière complétés par des tirants rectilignes supportant la boîte de vitesse et le moteur. On obtenait ainsi une structure très rigide et légère bien supérieure aux cadres dérivés de ceux des bicyclettes employés par la majorité des constructeurs. Les Cotton utilisaient des moteurs de provenance extérieure, mais les avantages de leur cadre permettaient aux Cotton de se démarquer sans difficultés de leur rivales à puissance égale. Le légendaire Stanley Woods fit ses débuts au TT de l'île de Man sur une Cotton en 1922, en remportant l'épreuve Junior à une vitesse record l'année suivante. Tout au long des années 1920 de nombreuses victoires furent remportées dans les épreuves internationales, la plus belle victoire de Cotton au TT datant de 1926 lorsque l'équipe prit les trois premières places en catégorie « Motos légères 250 cm3 ». Dotées de moteurs JAP et Blackburne, les Cotton de course furent encore compétitives dans les années 1930 avant de devoir céder devant des firmes plus importantes ayant les moyens de développer leurs propres moteurs.
    Propriété autrefois de Wilf Green de Sheffield, importateur MZ au Royaume-Uni, cette belle Cotton-JAP qui avait déjà été restaurée était en ordre de marche lors de son acquisition en Autriche en 2006. Parmi les spécifications les plus remarquables, citons la rare et très recherchée culasse en bronze, le carburateur Bowden à deux cuves et la boîte Burman à quatre rapports avec sélecteur au pied. Exposée au musée de Hockenheim depuis son achat, la machine est proposée avec un dossier de notes de restauration (en allemand) et un ensemble de photocopies de documents relatifs à la marque Cotton.
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