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The Quail Auction / 1954 Norton Big 4 Frame no. 55512 Engine no. 55512 J7

Lot 3
1954 Norton Big 4
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

Lot to be sold without reserve

US$8,000 - US$12,000

Ask about this lot

1954 Norton Big 4
Frame no. 55512
Engine no. 55512 J7

596cc Side-valve Single Cylinder Engine
Single Carburetor
Est 14hp at 4,500rmp
Four-speed Gearbox
Front and Rear Drum Brakes

*Offered to benefit Autism Families Connecticut
*Older restoration by marque specialist George Pollard
*Matching numbers example
*Amelia Island Concours participant

Having hitherto relied on proprietary engines, Norton introduced its own power unit in 1907. The long-stroke (82x120mm) side-valve single displaced 633cc and the new model it powered became known as the 'Big 4'. Smaller capacity versions followed, and in 1911 the 500 adopted the classic 79x100mm bore/stroke dimensions, which would characterize the half-liter (actually 490cc) Norton for the next 50 years. Norton's side-valve engines were revised for 1914, and in 1921, the Model 16, as it had become known, received a new lower frame, becoming the 16H. Considered by many to be an ideal sidecar 'tug', the Big Four (and 16H) would be continuously updated for the next 30-plus years, many seeing service with Allied forces in WW2. Post-war, the Big Four was revised with a shorter (113mm) stroke for a capacity of 597cc before taking its final bow, alongside the16H, in 1954.

The motorcycle offered here, from the final year of model production, was originally purchased by late-Floridian Collector, Mr. Jacobs in 1990, but shortly went missing when the original restorer went out of business. The machine was relocated in 1998, and subsequently underwent a restoration by marque specialist George Pollard, completed in 2000. While in Mr. Jacobs' collection, the motorcycle was entered into the Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance and displayed in his private collection.
The motorcycle was sold at the Bonhams 2022 Amelia Island Auction and is now being reoffered, once again to benefit charity, this time for Autism Families Connecticut whose mission is "To provide recreational and social activities for families affected by autism that promote growth and meaningful social connections."
Please note that a full recommissioning will be necessary prior to putting the bike back into service.

Additional information