The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314

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Lot 53
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle

Sold for £ 51,750 (US$ 69,245) inc. premium
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT
1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. SEP63
Engine no. 10M97314
• Built during the winter of 1962/63
• Also ridden by Joe Dunphy in the 1965 IoM Junior TT
• Formerly on display in the Stanford Hall Museum
• Not raced since 1984
• Present ownership since January 2015

For 50-plus years Francis Beart, who died in 1983, was one of the great men of British motorcycle racing. Though a noted Brooklands tuner, his reputation was founded post-WW2 with Manx Nortons, latterly instantly identifiable in Ford's Ludlow Green livery. Arguably the most celebrated of all Norton tuners, Beart collected an unsurpassed total of 11 Manx GP wins plus ten 2nd and three 3rd places; he preferred longer, public roads events like Isle of Man, where reliability counted for as much as speed.

Genuine Beart Nortons are very rare. Francis looked after many engines, but his attention to detail made his own bikes special. No customer could pay for the countless hours spent perfecting the cycle parts. Bolts were hollowed, steel was replaced with aluminium and drilled like Swiss cheese. Un-sprung weight reduction was his passion – and no plump riders!

Beart's engines were built with infinite precision, each setting being logged for posterity. Less friction, more speed was his mantra. Wheel bearing replacement every race and mounting shock absorbers upside down were but two tricks. He used the narrowest rims and tyres to save weight and reduce the contact patch.

The finest monument to his work is this machine. Beart made his last 350cc Manx race-ready in 1974 for the Stanford Hall museum's founder, the late John Griffith; knowing it would be the last, he give away his tools once finished. In 1982, the collection was sold and this machine was acquired by journalist Alan Cathcart for its previous owner.

It was one of the last Manx Nortons built, a 1961 model, supplied new to a Beart customer, Mr Craze of Bournemouth, who sold the bike to Beart during the winter of 1962/63. Francis then rebuilt it for the Junior Manx GP, fitting a Jakeman two-piece fairing with the rev-counter mounted in the nose. Ernie Wakefield produced custom, thin-gauge aluminium oil and fuel tanks, the latter with a chin recess permitting the rider to tuck under the screen and thus the bike was nicknamed 'Sabrina' after a curvaceous blonde British film starlet. An ex-Bob McIntyre Gilera twin-leading-shoe front brake was fitted. The 350 debuted in the 1963 Manx GP ridden by Jimmy Guthrie, who finished 20th after the specially made front-brake adjusters kept slackening.

'Sabrina' was out again for the 1964 Manx, crashing at Rhencullen. The bike was rebuilt that winter, Beart logging a new frame, swinging-arm, rear wheel, oil and fuel tanks, one front fork slider, and a fairing. Guthrie made amends in the 1965 Manx with 6th at 89.11mph after Joe Dunphy had made 9th in the Junior TT at 91.69mph. A comprehensive rebuild for the 1966 season was undertaken, re-numbering the Manx 'FB 66/1' in the process.

Over the next winter it was again rebuilt, now with a Bosch magneto and a single coil. Welshman Malcolm Uphill lapped the Mountain in under 24 minutes (94.32mph) but retired on lap three with a broken ignition wire while lying 11th. Uphill told Beart that it had been impossible to stay with a gaggle of Aermacchis, so Francis bought one from his friend Syd Lawton, the UK importer. When it arrived a month later Beart realised 'I'd been wasting my time trying to keep the Norton competitive for so long', and the 350 was sold to North of England dealer Harry Dugdale, and eventually to John Griffith.

Having acquired the Beart 350, Alan Cathcart entrusted ace race engineer Ron Lewis to re-commission the machine before the Snetterton meeting in 1984. As a result, Cathcart enjoyed two 2nd places and two 3rd places in four races. After Snetterton, the 350 left for the USA where it remained exactly as last ridden in 1984, as the last Beart-built motorcycle to have been raced. The machine shows flecks of blue paint on many nuts, bolts, and other components identifying it as a 350 (a 500 had yellow daubs). Add to that the dull nickel finish; each clutch spring and its cup painted a different colour for exact re-assembly; the engine-turned alloy engine plates - all echoing another Beart maxim, 'If it looks right, chances are it'll go right'.

The current vendor purchased the ex-Beart Manx at Bonhams' Las Vegas sale in January 2015 (Lot 155). Though fate conspired against it ever winning a deserved Manx GP, its history proved that this Beart Manx Norton certainly went as well as it looked.

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.
Contacts
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
The ex-James Guthrie, Joe Dunphy, Manx Grand Prix, Isle of Man TT, 1961 Beart-Norton Manx 350cc Racing Motorcycle Frame no. SEP63 Engine no. 10M97314
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