1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46

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Lot 134
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe
Registration no. DNN 863 (U.K.) Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46

Sold for US$ 16,380 inc. premium
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe
Registration no. DNN 863 (U.K.)
Frame no. 27/32976/SS
Engine no. 27/4177/46
Builder of the last British-made machine to win the Lightweight 250cc TT on the Isle of Man in 1936, the New Imperial marque was unsurpassed for innovation during the 1930s, introducing models featuring their own design of pivoted fork rear suspension along with unitary construction of the engine and gearbox. Like many manufacturers based in the heart of the British motor industry in Birmingham, New Imperial could trace its roots back to a cycle company bought by Norman Downs in 1900. Early motorcycles adopted Precision and JAP engines and in the 1920s the company concentrated their racing efforts on the 250cc class, particularly racing on the motorcycle-friendly Isle of Man, winning the 250cc class in the TT of 1921 and snatching the victor’s laurels again in the Lightweight TT in 1924 and 1925. By the late 1920s New Imperial had come of age, abandoning proprietary engine units in favor of well-engineered power units of their own manufacture.

The 344cc Model 46, with its all-new overhead-valve engine in unit construction with the gearbox, was introduced for the 1936 season. In 1937 New Imperial introduced their own sprung frame design for the Model 46. The New Imperial Model 46 was for the discerning motorcyclist, rather like the Brough Superior or Montgomery offerings, and was not inexpensive. De Luxe versions of the Model 46 were offered with foot-change gearbox option, mag/dyno ignition/lighting, chromium plated tank and valanced mudguards. Production of the model was curtailed upon the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.

This stunningly presented example was restored about ten years ago and garnered many Concours d’Elegance awards at shows in the U.K. Although it has not seen active road use for five or six years, we are advised that only gentle recommissioning will be required before this machine takes to the open road again. This exceedingly rare and sporting New Imperial is offered with British registration documentation.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame and engine number listed in the catalog are incorrect. The correct frame and engine number are 2732976SF and 274117746, respectively.
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46
1937 New Imperial 344cc Model 46 De Luxe Frame no. 27/32976/SS Engine no. 27/4177/46
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