The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8

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Lot 441
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8

Sold for £ 20,700 (US$ 27,322) inc. premium
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. TT8
Engine no. 28TT8
Light weight, ample power and sure-footed handling thanks to a low centre of gravity were virtues of the Scott motorcycle right from the outset. Not surprisingly, the Scott was soon making a name for itself in the trials of the day, often with its inventor, Alfred Angas Scott, at the controls and in 1909 the marque made its first appearance at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races. Ridden by works tester Eric Myers, the lone Scott was eliminated on lap seven when Myers fell. An inauspicious beginning to Scott’s Isle of Man adventure, but greater times were just around the corner.

Myers and Frank Phillip were entered the following year and this time both Scotts finished, although off the leader-board. The works racers used chain-driven rotary valves in 1911 but without success, the drive’s failure prompting a switch to gears for 1912. This would prove a breakthrough year for Scott, works rider Frank Appleby winning the Senior TT having led from the start. It was the first time such a feat had been achieved and the first Senior victory for a two-stroke. Tim Wood duly repeated the trick the following year to give Scott two-in-a-row. Despite setting a new lap record of 53.3mph, and from a standing start too, Wood and Scott were out of luck in 1914 and the Senior victory went to Rudge.

After WWI Scott’s fortunes, at least as far as the Isle of Man TT was concerned, went into relative decline, although the firm continued to be a strong contender for Senior honours as demonstrated by works rider Harry Langman’s 3rd and 2nd places in 1922 and 1924 respectively. By the late 1920s the Scotts were down on power compared to the fast-developing four-strokes and 1928 would be the final year that one finished on the Senior TT leaderboard.

The factory entered a total of eight machines for the 1928 TT races. Of these eight, ‘TT1’ and ‘TT2’ were sidecar outfits (though the sidecar race would be cancelled due to a lack of support) while the remaining six were solos to be ridden by Harry Langman, Tommy Hatch, Oliver Langton, Ernie Mainwaring and G Limmer, the latter a non-starter on the day. The works bikes were powered by a new long-stroke 498cc engine with bore/stroke dimensions of 66.6x71.4mm, which went into cycle parts little changed from the previous year.

The weather on Senior race day was appalling, with pouring rain for much of the time, though this probably helped negate the four-strokes’ power advantage over the two-stroke Scotts. Fortunes were mixed, to say the least, Mainwaring retiring with engine failure on the 3rd lap, Langton succumbing to a puncture and Oliver falling at the Gooseneck on spilled grease. Hatch pressed on to claim 3rd and the courageous Langman brought his machine home in 12th place despite having to ride most of the race without goggles. (The effects of the rain and wind permanently damaged his eyesight).

Originally registered ‘WW 6018’ and fitted with road equipment for testing purposes, Langman’s machine, ‘28TT8’, is believed to have been used at the 1929 TT as a practice bike and again in 1930 as an emergency replacement works entry following the disastrous showing of the new ‘vertical engine’ model in practice. Its subsequent history remains unknown prior to 1999 when the vendor was given the remains of ‘28TT1’. This set in progress a chain of events that resulted in the rediscovery and purchase of ‘28TT8’, ‘28TT4’ and finally ‘28TT2’. No information was available concerning the original specification of the two sidecar outfits ‘28TT1’ and ‘28TT2’, so priority was given to rebuilding Langman’s machine, ‘28TT8’.

The late John Underhill, Scott Owners’ Club Registrar for over 40 years, confirmed the provenance of the remains and helped track down some of the missing parts. Research at the West Riding of Yorkshire archives in Wakefield has identified the registration number ‘WE 6018’ as belonging to the machine, although this registration was cancelled as early as January 1929. In a letter dated 10th March 2009, the SOC’s current (acting) Registrar, Ian Parsons, reaffirms that the this machine incorporates the major original parts of TT08 (engine, frame and gearbox) together with other works TT parts from 1928.

The project restoration was fully detailed in a series of eight articles in the SOC’s ‘Yowl’ journal and involved many fortuitous instances of serendipity and plain good luck. For example: the vendor’s nearest fellow SOC member was Cyril Victor ‘Vic’ Kemp, a noted competitor in sidecar trials throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Vic’s collection of Vintage and classic motorcycles included a 1929 Scott TT Replica model that had been raced in the 1930s by George Richards, the Nottingham-based Douglas and Scott dealer. As a favoured dealer, Richards had been able to acquire all sorts of ‘works’ TT parts dating from 1928 including the large-capacity fuel/oil tank (with integral cylinder wall oiling pump), close-ratio gearbox (without kickstart boss) and many more. After hearing of the vendor’s project, Vic and his wife, the late Win Kemp, very kindly agreed to donate the ‘works’ parts provided that they were replaced by others more appropriate to the TT Replica.

The restoration was finally completed in September 2008. No expense was spared in its execution, with nickel plating by Derby Plating Services, paintwork by The Paint Studio (Andy Mehan), engine and gearbox rebuilds by Tim Sharp, magneto overhaul by Moathouse Magnetos (Dave Fisher), wheel building by Five-One (Steve Lomas), etc. All relevant receipts are contained within the history file together with copies of the eight ‘Yowl’ articles, SOC dating certificate, sundry period photographs and related press cuttings, and a CD-ROM of ‘work in progress’ and other pictures.

The vendor freely acknowledges that some compromises have had to be made and so the tool box, mudguards and stays, exhaust pipe, footrest hangers and, of course, tyres, chains and cables are replica items, as is the radiator (with left-hand filler) in German silver. Everything is ‘as new’ or better and the vendor confirms that the machine has not been started since completion. It will thus require filling with all lubricants, fuel and coolant followed by careful running in and appropriate adjustments before serious use. (The Pilgrim oil pump has been sensibly converted to non-driven ‘dripper’ operation by Ged Rumble and in particular it should be noted that the adjuster knobs now work in the opposite direction to their markings!).

Presented in concours condition, this superb machine represents a rare opportunity to acquire a works Scott representing the absolute pinnacle of the marque’s racing development in the Vintage years and ridden by one of the star riders of the day.

Saleroom notices

  • The machine is not accompanied by a CD of work in progress.
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
The ex-Harry Langman, Isle of Man TT, works 1928 Scott 498cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. TT8 Engine no. 28TT8
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