Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539

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Lot 455
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate
Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539

Sold for £ 18,975 (US$ 23,895) inc. premium
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new
1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate
Frame no. 336539
Engine no. 336539
Few would disagree that Norton's Commando ranks as Britain's most enduring vertical twin, despite being produced over a far shorter period than the Bonneville, and there are many thousand fewer Commandos than Triumph twins. Precise figures were never published but during a lifespan extending from the 1967 Earls Court launch thru to post Receivership cessation in 1977 a total of around 50,000 Commandos rolled off respective production lines.

Beginning with their futuristic Fastback Norton Villiers' next styling exercise was 1969's far more popular Roadster, joined in the 1972 range by the Interstate. There were other lower volume variants as well, including the Production Racer, the 750SS, and the short lived/awkward looking Hi Rider. For reasons that were never explained Norton's traditional fuel tank livery; metallic silver enhanced with red & black coach lines – seen to best advantage on a race model Manx – was not available as a colour choice until the Mk III 850 Commando Interstate which, complete with electric starter, and opposite side foot pedals, was announced in early 1975. Offered exclusively on larger 'tanked Interstates the silver finish was an instant hit with consumers. But by late 1975, notwithstanding a full order book, NVT's Wolverhampton plant was in Receivership. Norton's former management team, who'd meanwhile re-grouped at Shenstone, eventually negotiated a continuation of Commando manufacture in respect of several hundred Mk III Interstates scheduled for production prior to the factory's closure. Some 1500 models were then produced by a skeleton NVT workforce, and released through conventional trade outlets. The last 25 examples were delivered to NVT's own retail operation at Andover.

The immaculately presented matching numbers Interstate is possibly the most charismatic Commando of all time, for it is the final machine of the whole series! Accompanied by a V55/C the bike is unregistered and – aside from its factory test – has not been run since. It is believed that to date this fascinating story has been published just once, in the Daily Telegraph Motoring Supplement about 3 years ago. As stated, it was in 1977 that the late John Pedley [the Wolverhampton factory's ultra capable works director] was tasked with making the final batch of Commandos; it was essential they were to the identical standard of previous production. Upon conclusion of this exercise he and his hand picked team would be seeking fresh employment. So, after completing the build, and pending an understandably poignant departure from a works he'd inhabited since a lad, John built the ultimate Commando. Given the circumstances this motorcycle was a personification of his life's work; one can but imagine the sentiment involved! As borne out by the receipt the Commando was purchased by Carl Rosner, direct from the Pedley family, some years ago. It is not overstating the case if we say that the chance to acquire the last ever Commando is a unique opportunity!
Contacts
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
Last off the production line, unregistered, 7 miles from new,1977 Norton 850 Mk III Commando Interstate Frame no. 336539 Engine no. 336539
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