Tuesday 20 July 2010

1931 CS1 Norton

This CS1 has been advertised on Ebay for a while now and what follows is the description by the seller: "According to the Works Records this Norton left the factory fitted with a close ratio gearbox, racing magneto and racing carb, all of which are still there.When I bought this machine 10 years ago it was fitted with a Honda tank and Suzuki wheels. I have found and fitted the hand-made steel tank (which needs major welding) that was fabricated by the man who raced this bike with some prominence in the 1930s. I have found and fitted an original oil tank. I have fitted a correct front wheel and a period correct rear. Also fitted are a correct Andree steering damper and solid control levers. The engine and gearbox appear to be in excellent condition. Bidders should be aware that this bike was raced continuously from it’s delivery date up to the ‘60s so deviation from standard spec are to be expected. I have a lot of pictures of this bike as it was raced at Daytona, Langhorne and Savanaah in 1935, already a 4 year old machine it lapped Langhorne at over 83 mph beating factory Indians amongst other current race bikes."

A very nice Norton and an appealing story but there are a few issues; the page in the Works Records (below) where the entry for this CS1 should be has been damaged and while the gearbox (as fitted to this CS1) is listed, the numbers for the frame and engine are missing. While the framenumber as used by this CS1 could be correct, it is also a bit high to fit comfortably within the sequence as in the records. Further, as indicated by the vendor, many parts have been replaced since the Norton left the factory.

Is this a problem? Not for the Norton, it will be a very fine bike once it has had the attention that it deserves. The problem is that the story comes with a price tag and I would be worried about finding a next owner willing to pay the extra money for what's basically a few black and white photographs and a torn piece of paper.