1948 Norton 350cc Manx Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. 18208 Engine no. 18208

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Lot 423
1948 Norton 350cc Manx Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. not registered Frame no. 18208 Engine no. 18208

Sold for £ 16,100 (US$ 21,140) inc. premium
1948 Norton 350cc Manx Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. not registered
Frame no. 18208
Engine no. 18208
• The last 1948-model Manx
• Raced at the 1948 Manx Grand Prix
• Reg Dearden modifications

Dubbed 'Manx Grand Prix' on its introduction in 1939, what would become the best-known racing motorcycle of all time had become simply 'Manx' when production resumed in 1946. The first Manxes had been raced at the 1939 Isle of Man TT, Ginger Wood finishing 8th in the Senior event on one of them. When Norton's 1947 range was announced in September 1946, the 350cc and 500cc racers were officially catalogued as 'Manx' for the first time.
Norton's post-war over-the-counter Manx racers were much the same as their pre-war International model counterparts, with single-overhead-camshaft engine, 'square' cylinder head finning, upright gearbox, and plunger-suspended 'garden gate' frames. Only the presence of the wartime-designed Roadholder telescopic front fork readily distinguished them from the '39 machines. 1949 brought the first significant change in engine specification, when the Manx gained a double-overhead-camshaft 'head like that enjoyed by the works bikes for many years.

The 350 Manx offered here is the last 1948 model built, leaving the factory on 24th August of that year. It was first owned by one F Pados of the Hartlepool Club, who rode it in the '48 Manx Grand Prix, retiring on the 3rd lap. Another member of the Hartlepool Club, Bill Zealand, owned the machine for the next few years, and at some time it passed through the hands of the celebrated independent Norton tuner/entrant, Reg Dearden of Chorlton, Manchester, sponsor of countless riders including stars such as Geoff Duke, Gary Hocking, Dave Chadwick, John Hartle, George Catlin, and Terry Shepherd. Noteworthy features include a shortened wheelbase, gusseted rear frame, works-type 5½-gallon alloy fuel tank, works-type megaphone, and a smaller-than-standard front wheel.

Subsequently owned by Eddie Kirkham, the Manx has been displayed at the International Classic Bike show, Stafford and was featured in Classic Motorcycling Legends magazine (issue 25, summer 1993), illustrated on the front cover. Last run circa 2007, the machine is described by the private vendor as 'un-restored'. Accompanying documentation consists of a Science Museum Library dating letter, Classic Bike Show machine information sheet, and a copy of the aforementioned magazine article.

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

  • The frame number is C10M18208. The engine number is C10M18208.
Contacts
1948 Norton 350cc Manx Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. 18208 Engine no. 18208
1948 Norton 350cc Manx Racing Motorcycle  Frame no. 18208 Engine no. 18208
Auction information

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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia Clearance
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