• Hugely successful model
• Evidence points to it being remarkably original
• A rare document from the early history of dirt track racing
Like so many similar motorcycle manufacturers Rudge started life in 1894 as a bicycle maker, with the combination of two factories in Birmingham and Coventry forming Rudge Whitworth. It was not until 1911 that the first motorcycle appeared, the famous 'Multi' which won the Senior TT in 1914 ridden by inventor and engineer, Cyril Pullen. Rudge produced v-twins as well as singles but it was the v-twin that first appeared with a four speed gearbox. In 1923 the Rudge Four was introduced - a single with a four-speed gearbox but, notably, the first Rudge four valve engine which was to become the hallmark of Rudge and their racing successes.
This was based on Harry Ricardo's design for Triumph as early as 1921. Initially 350cc, the new four valve engine was more powerful than the previous 500cc engine. In 1925 this led to the Rudge Special, a full four valve 500cc. It was this engine that became so success in racing and in modified form it became the basis for the 'dirt track' model.
The first of these appeared in June 1928 using many existing production parts in the construction but the engine now ran on methanol. A certain influence came from Stan Glanfield from his round the world endurance on a Rudge sidecar outfit. Starting in July 1927 his travels included Australia where he was captivated by the dirt track racing which had been well established for around five years. Returning eight months later all this experience stood him in good stead in being able to advise on the new dirt track model. Stan later also went on to produce is own dirt track machine.
There is no history file with this DT Rudge and it is not known when it joined the collection. Close examination indicates that it cannot have had very much use and in comparison with Rudge factory catalogues from 1929 through to 1932 all the evidence is that it is remarkably original. A true time warp discovery which, even without provenance, is a rare document from the early history of dirt track racing. The mechanical condition is not known and therefore we recommend re-commissioning and/or restoration to a greater or lesser extent.
Key not required
All lots are sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.