Friday, 14 June 2019

Spare parts list

-SG- During the thirties, spare parts lists were not issued every year but supplementary lists (no illustrations) seem to have been issued for those years where a full list was not produced. The only supplementary list we have on the site thus far is that for 1939 but thanks to Reece, we now have copies of the remaining four supplementary lists. These cover:

Parts for 1933 variations excluding cradle frame models and 350s. 
Parts for 1933 variations for CS1 and ES2 models.
Parts for 1935 variations - all models.
Parts for 1936 variations - all models.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Vic Horsman at Brooklands

-SG- I recently came across this uncaptioned photo of Vic Horsman mounted on a track Norton with a considerably lengthened frame.  I sent it to Roger for further comment which I give below.  Thanks!

"Vic Horsman rode a Norton until the end of the 1922 season when both he and Rex Judd left the O'Donovan team - he went to Triumph and Rex to Douglas and this paved the way for Bert Denly to join the team. 

The picture was probably taken after the Championship Race event on 21 October 1922 at which he won Classes C and F and was second in Class D. The engine looks tall for the 490 version so it would be the 596 version that he rode in Class F and the sidecar for Class F can be seen on the right of the picture.  The picture was taken in the paddock by the Fork with the 1921 grandstand in the background. There are three Nortons behind Vic (his birth name was Vincent) and Don is working on one of them. There would have been a 490 for Rex, the second Norton for Vic and one for Don in Class F.

The Norton on the left is probably George Tucker's outfit as his race number was 5 in Class F. The V-twin at the back is probably George Brough's Brough Superior on which he competed in Class E for solos up to 1000cc. I don't know who the reporter is!

Vic liked the very long wheelbase machines for Brooklands as they gave extra stability in a straight line which was the purpose of the banking although the Fork was a sharp kink. He continued with the same type of frame when he switched to Triumph. From experience I can say that even the slightly extended frame on LPD1 is great for a straight line but truly awful on the Mercedes Benz track (the short present track at Brooklands) where I was overtaken by a 50cc racer on the bends! The Model 18 used for Mountain Races is so much easier to handle."

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Free publicity

-SG- Many manufacturers availed themselves of free publicity arising from  road tests, interviews etc. and who can blame them for that! The Norton publicity department re-issued copies of road tests and a 'future plans' article in the late thirties, and thanks again to Ian, we are able to provide scans. Click this link for the road test of the 1939 Model ES2

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Jimmy Guthrie, 1936 Senior TT, Model 30

-SG- Photos of the great Jimmy Guthrie are not that uncommon and this action shot of him landing at Ballaugh Bridge in the 1936  Senior TT is certainly no rarity.  None the less it shows a good view of the bike and gives a good impression of a man in a hurry!  Guthrie won at an average of over 85 mph.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Bob Spreadbrow's Model 30

-SG- I have mentioned my old friend Jack Bindley before on the site. He grew up in the Wembley area and one of his friends was a chap called Bob Spreadbrow. Jack introduced me to Bob a good while back now - probably in the seventies - and Bob has recently been in the news as his nephew Graham Leake has been researching (successfully) the whereabouts of his Wooler ME1095. I should add that Bob was a nephew of Ron Wooler and worked at the firm during the late twenties. You may wonder what all this has to do with pre-war Nortons and the answer is that Bob bought a new 500 Inter in 1934 which he used successfully in the Clubmen's Fifty Mile event at Brooklands as well as for general transport. Jack recalled that he and Bob used to spend the occasional Sunday morning going flat out along the newly opened Watford by-pass - Jack on the 1931 ex works OK Supreme he bought after being disappointed with the 1931 ES2 he bought new. According to Jack, the OK was a few miles an hour faster than the Inter but of course, Bob's recollection might well have been different!

Apparently, long after he had disposed of the Inter, Bob thought it would be good to get it back and he traced it to a lighthouse keeper in Scotland, who assured him it was safely protected from the elements. Bob went to see it and was saddened to find it had corroded to the extent that it was suitable only as scrap!

Graham has kindly sent a scan of Bob and the Norton at Brooklands - many thanks!

-Roger- RD Spreadbrow raced a Norton at Brooklands from March 1933 to August 1935 but his only top three finishes were winning the Clubmen's Fifty Mile Scratch race on 28 July 1934 and a third place in the Clubmen's Three-lap Round the Mountain Race in April. It seems very unlikely he bought it the bike new in 1934 as I believe it to be a 1932 model as the damper was discarded in 1933 and replaced by the rebound springs although the damper was added to the springs for 1934.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Amal Hints and Tips

-SG- More from Ian's collection - the Amal instruction leaflet for 1939 for 1929-1933 and that for 1939. Many thanks for the loan, Ian!

Monday, 13 May 2019

1921 Norton photos

-SG- Many thanks to Alan for providing these period photos - the source was author and historian Roger Fogg so thanks to him too. The TT shots - Keig photos by the look of them -  were probably taken at the Gooseneck and it appears none of the three actually finished the race (this was the event won by Howard Davies on the 350cc AJS). The best Norton finisher was  J L Mitchell in 6th place. Who the individual is at the beach racing event I know not - Irish registration number - and any suggestions will be most welcome.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

1920s Tuning Instructions

-SG- Another interesting item from Ian's collection - this one a four page letter giving tuning instructions. Despite the May 1930 date, the instructions seem to apply to the earlier twenties engine design.  Thanks for the loan!

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

For sale: 1929 Model Big 4 Norton (SOLD) and parts

-JdK- Christian has SOLD for sale a 1929 Model 633cm Big Four Norton. The frame number is 37525, the engine number is 44940. Deliverd from the works with a CSI Tank and Webb fork. It's for restoration. There are more parts and old documents with the bike. The Norton is located in Bavarian Germany.

He also has some vintage Norton parts for sale, a 1927-30 CSI tank with a replica filler cap, a Sturmey Archer gearbox, a barrel, a timing cover inner and outer from ca. 1925, two Best and Lloyd oil pumps from 1928-30.

Christian is open for serious offers. Please contact him directly via email: or phone 49/160/90920597.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

1927 Model 16H Norton - For sale

-JdK- Heiko has for sale a 1927 Model 16H Norton. The frame number is 27656, the engine number is 34508. It is an older restoration and it is running. There are no old documents with the bike. The Norton is located in Germany. He is asking 17500 Euro or 15000 GBP. Please contact Heiko directly via phone number is 49162 4777394.