c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011

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Lot 160
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011

US$ 16,000 - 20,000
£ 12,000 - 15,000
Amended
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 1 8104905
Engine no. 221011
• Formerly owned by legendary California Norton dealer Sonny Angel
• Raced in period by Sonny
• Recent restoration

Norton Motors was Birmingham's most prominent motorcycle maker, always in the news and always providing winning exploits for the city. Post-WW2, their success rate increased, with 'the unbeatable Norton' taking trophy after trophy in racing, becoming in the process Britain's most famous motorcycle firm. Commercially, the company's brilliant adaption of the TT-proved 'Featherbed' frame for their road range in the 'fifties lifted the handling of these fine machines on to another level, as witness their owners' scornful jibes at other makers' 'hinged frames' put about in period.

Norton launched its first 650cc twin, the US-market Manxman, in 1960. Available in Europe the following year, the Dominator 650 was built in standard, De Luxe and SS variants, all of which featured a new cylinder head with down-draught inlet ports. With 49bhp on tap, plentiful low-down torque and exemplary handling courtesy of its race-proven Featherbed frame and Roadholder forks, the 650SS was one of the outstanding sports motorcycles of the 1960s, being more than a match for Triumph's Bonneville in terms of all-round performance.

Sonny Angel located his Norton dealership on East 18th Street in National City, California in the mid-1950s and stayed there and prospered for well over 50 years! In addition to Norton he went through NSU, Moto Guzzi and many other brands. He went to Bonneville in the '50s on a home-tuned Vincent; then raced through the desert on a Triumph, an NSU 250 Max, and even a Manx Norton! In 1960 he tried the Isle of Man TT on a loaner Yamaha, a trip that turned into him wishing he'd taken his Manx. Two years later he did take a Manx to Willow Springs taking third behind Mike Hailwood, in first place. He built a Hillman Imp-powered Featherbed... In 18 years of road racing finishing in 1974, he sat on, among others, both Aermacchis and MVs in addition to the brands already mentioned. He went back to Bonneville with a Max Lambky Vincent streamliner piloted by his younger brother, Don Angel. After a SpeedTV recorded wreck, Don made 212.91mph in the Streamline/Vintage Pushrod Blown Fuel class!

This Norton 750 was another of Sonny's successful homebrews perfect for the tracks of Southern California in the sixties; the Featherbed frame is believed to be from 1962 and the engine is from a 1962 650 twin, bored to 750cc. As trick as can be for the period, one unique feature is its NSU (Sonny was an NSU dealer) rear wheel to allow for quick gearing changes, something a stock rear wheel won't let you do.

This historic bike has been recently rebuilt and runs strongly. It looks period and sits on the road as only a Norton Featherbed can. Of course, it starts, steers, and stops. And flies like an angel!

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. Sold on a Bill of Sale

Saleroom notices

  • Please note there is an error in the printed catalog, there is no Import duty to pay on this Lot. The frame number is obscured by the fairing mounting bracket. The engine number is 102121 20.
Contacts
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
c.1966 Norton 750cc 'Featherbed' Road Racing Motorcycle Frame no. 1 8104905 Engine no. 221011
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