1936 Ariel 499cc Red Hunter Competition Model
Registration no. DWL 136
Frame no. F4724
Engine no. CB2852
Val Page's arrival at Ariel in 1925 as Chief Designer would trigger a welcome upturn in the Selly Oak firm's fortunes. Page designed new models to replace the existing range, the first of which - a pair of singles displacing 600cc (sidevalve) and 500cc (overhead-valve) - debuted later that year. By 1930 the Ariel single had gained a rear-mounted magneto and its distinctive timing cover, and the engine's basic design - though frequently revised - would stand the company in good stead well into the post-war era. In 1932 the sports versions were christened 'Red Hunter' and under Page's successor Edward Turner developed into fast and stylish machines. There were also competition versions available, usually fitted with single-port cylinder heads, which came with specially tuned and bench-tested engines. Other special features included a crankcase under-shield, knobbly tyres, nail catcher, fabric clutch, high-clearance mudguards, BTH magneto, cut-down primary chain cases and, in the case of the 500cc VH version, a 2½ gallon fuel tank.
Resident in Cornwall since 1946, this pre-war Red Hunter Competition Model was purchased by the vendor circa 20 years ago. The accompanying old-style buff logbook indicates that 'DWL 136' moved from St Ives to Penzance, Hayle and then Redruth between 1946 and 1978 and at least twice in its lifetime formed part of the Prowse collection of Vintage motorcycles in Penzance. According to the Ariel factory records, this rare matching-numbers Red Hunter was sold as a competition motorcycle to Kings of Oxford on 23.7.36 complete with BTH magneto, pillion seat and footrests, crankcase under-shield, nail extractors, fabric clutch and 2½ gallon tank. Largely un-restored and original, it is reported as being in good running condition and offered with the aforementioned logbook and current V5C registration document.