1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706

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Lot 103
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special
Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706

Sold for US$ 6,900 inc. premium
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special
Frame no. 125885
Engine no. 101706
• Recent build of period-correct café racer by Norton expert
• Dunstall mufflers, Akront alloy rims, aluminum oil tank

Like the blue jeans and black leather jackets favored by their riders back in the day, café racers never go out of style. Coined in England, the term "café racer" was at first derogatory, bestowed by older riders upon these young turks of the tarmac and their lashed-together machines, dismissed as barely being able to get from one transport café to another. But much like American hot-rodders in the Fifties and chopper riders in the Seventies, those first "Rockers" set a style that is still with us today.

That style, though, had to be backed up by speed. Doing the Ton – 100mph – was proof that rider and bike had the right stuff, as Cycle magazine writer John Covington discovered when he dropped in on London's café scene in the late 1960s. "They don't do the Ton on a race course or a flat stretch of country road," he wrote. "Likely as not, they do it on the North Circular Road or the Watford Bypass or the M1 expressway. They don't do the Ton in broad daylight when there's no traffic and the pavement is dry. They do it at night, when challenged to a burn-off. The air will be damp and the high-beam won't be good for more than 60 mph and there will be trucks and cars of all sizes on the road. And that, mate, is when you do the Ton".

Looking back fondly, one old Rocker summed up the attraction succinctly. "We were in love with speed", he said. "Our life was bikes, burning and birds".

Even though it was built just four or five years ago by a Canadian Norton expert, the café racer on offer here looks like it was ridden straight out of those Swingin' Sixties. Like many a Rocker's ride, it is anchored by Norton's stellar Featherbed frame, this one originally issued to a 1960 Dominator. A useful bump in displacement and power comes by way of a 750cc engine transplanted from a 1968 Norton P11, mechanically updated with belt primary drive and a single Mikuni carburetor conversion. A centrally located aluminum oil tank is a racetrack touch taken to the street, likewise the headlight-mounted flyscreen. Dramatically sweptback exhausts with Dunstall mufflers provide the requisite look and sound. Alloy rims are all but required fitment on a café bike, and here we see period shouldered Spanish Akronts. Capping off the build is the original steel Dominator gas tank, shorn of its badges and finished to resemble the famous Norton International race paint scheme.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the estimate in the catalog is incorrect. The correct estimate is $7,000 - 8,000. Engine number is 18 101706. Frame number is P11/125885. Please note the title is in transit.
Contacts
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
1960 Norton 750cc Dominator Café Special Frame no. 125885 Engine no. 101706
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