1930 New Imperial 350cc Blue Prince Frame no. 13552 Engine no. 20973
Lot 276
1930 New Imperial 350cc Blue Prince
Registration no. BR 8414 Frame no. 13552 Engine no. 20973
£8,000 - 12,000
US$ 12,000 - 18,000

Lot Details
1930 New Imperial 350cc Blue Prince Frame no. 13552 Engine no. 20973
1930 New Imperial 350cc Blue Prince
Registration no. BR 8414
Frame no. 13552
Engine no. 20973
Builder of the last British-made machine to win the Lightweight 250 TT (in 1936) New Imperial was unsurpassed for innovation during the 1930s, with models featuring pivoted fork rear suspension and unitary construction of engine and gearbox. The marque was established in 1900 when Norman Downs acquired a cycle company in Birmingham, which he reorganised as New Imperial Cycles. The firm's first motorcycles, designed along Werner lines, were shown at the 1901 Stanley Show in London but were not well received. Not until 1910 did Downs try again, launching a conventional JAP-powered model - the Light Tourist - that would prove an outstanding success. In racing, New Imperial concentrated on the 250 class, winning the Isle of Man TT trophy for 250cc machines in 1921 and their first Lightweight TT in 1924, a feat repeated the following year. On the commercial front, the late 1920s saw production facilities expand and proprietary engines abandoned in favour of New Imperial's own power units. Among their more conventional machines was the overhead-valve twin-port Blue Prince, built in both 500 and 350 versions, which was introduced in 1930 for the 1931 model year and remained a fixture of the range until 1936.

This very early Blue Prince's engine number indicates that it was built in July 1930 when New Imperial was stepping up production of its 1931 range, which would be announced the following month. The machine was first registered in Sunderland on 1st October 1930 as 'BR 8414' and was acquired by the current vendor in 1968 following the death of his uncle, its previous owner. A photograph of the machine taken at this time is in the documents file. Restoration proceeded sporadically over the succeeding 40-plus years and was only completed in 2011. Works undertaken include an engine rebuild, re-chroming the tank over a copper base, and modifying the rear mudguard to accommodate a 26"x3" tyre (the size available nearest to the unobtainable 650x65 original). Described as in generally good condition, this smart Banbury-eligible machine is offered with sundry correspondence and old/current V5/V5C documents.

Saleroom notices

  • The Frame Number is 70/13552. The Engine Number is 10B-20973.
Auction information

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For this Sale the following rates of Buyer's Premium will be payable by Buyers of Lots:

Motor Cars and Motorcycles
15% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
12% from £50,001 of the Hammer Price

25% up to £50,000 of the Hammer Price
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Motor Cars & Motorcycles
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Polygon Transport
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Marchwood Industrial Park
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£13.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle
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There after
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  1. Bill To
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2822
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2802
  2. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
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