Monday 25 October 2010

Racing 1930 CS1 Nortons in Yorkshire

By Simon

I recently posted two photos of what might have been the same 1930 Racing Norton. One shows Jack Carr, successful MGP competitor and sand racer, and the other Frank Varey, well known Dirt Track rider.

The Varey photo also shows the registration number of WX5232 and I could not resist the temptation of finding out more information from West Yorkshire Archive Centre, where the original registration details and other relevant documents are held.

The photo copies just received show that WX5232 was registered on 28 August 1930 with Frank Varey as the first owner, the dealer – who reserved the number -  having been Alec Jackson of Keighley.  The papers do not show how long Frank retained the machine but by the late thirties, it had come south and numerous other owners in the Greater London area are shown in the Continuation Log Books and other documents held by the Centre. But after 1954, the ‘trail goes cold’ and I assume that perhaps the bike was scrapped or dismantled at around this time.

All of this seems to show that the machine on which Jack Carr is sitting is NOT the same one as WX5232 but another, albeit, identical bike, which he rode in the MGP in 1930 and 1931.

The WX5232 registration particulars gave engine and frame numbers and these in turn led me to the Despatch Records.  Here things seem to have gone awry and I can only assume that some clerical errors occurred in completing the records. The engine number for WX5232 is 49XXX and frame number 42XXX. But in the Despatch Records the machine with engine number 49XXX and the different frame 42YYY was shown as a TT spec. CS1 shipped to Belfast dealer Jimmy Shaw on 18 August 1930.  A further short search revealed that frame number 42XXX  belonged  to another TT spec. CS1 with the slightly earlier engine number 49ZZZ.  This bike is shown as having been despatched to Alec Jackson on 1 August 1930.  Also worth noting is that yet another TT spec. CS1 went to Alec Jackson on 28 August 1930 with engine number 49VVV and frame 42MMM. Exceptionally, no end user is shown for either of the Alec Jackson machines.

The Despatch Records ‘Extra Fittings’ column for these machines shows some interesting information which gives confirmation that ‘over the counter’ TT spec. machines with Carroll engines were sold in the Autumn of 1930 to those with the money to pay for them.  Here it is:

Front (tyre) 27 x 3, Rear (tyre) 3.25 x 27. (modern equivalents are 300 x 21 and 3.25 x 20).  Oil box for primary chain. TT specification.  Specially tuned engine.  ML Magneto (probably the Square ML as used on some of the 1930 Works bikes). Petroflex pipes. Thin rubber twistgrip. G D (George Dance) knee grips, TT large tanks. Oil filler on left. TT foot change (positive stop).  Dunlop saddle. TT brake pedal and footrests.