Weer een gouden tip van Sjaak: binnenkort op de veiling bij het Engelse veilinghuis Bonham, de wereldberoemde Spring Stafford Sale met de verkoop van een heuse Norton Manx met het beroemde ‘featherbed frame’ waar daadwerkelijk mee geracet is en wereldtitels zijn gehaald. De verkoopprijs wordt geschat op “slechts” 20.000 tot 24.000 Engelse ponden. Dus zeg maar op ruim 25.000 tot ruim 30.000 euro. Een Engelse racer voor een kapitaalkrachtige liefhebber/verzamelaar dus. Onderstaand een omschrijving (in het Engels) van deze authentieke racer uit de zestiger jaren. Lees en huiver…
1960 Norton 498cc Manx Model 30 Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. 86406
Engine no. R11M 86406
Current ownership for circa 40 years
Last ridden, by Geoff Duke, in 1986
Dry-stored for the last 30 years
Dubbed ‘Manx Grand Prix’ in 1939, what would become the best-known racing motorcycle of all time had become simply ‘Manx’ when production resumed in 1946, though only the presence of Roadholder telescopic front forks distinguished the post-war bike from the ’39 version. The first significant change in engine specification occurred in 1949 when the Manx gained a double-overhead-camshaft cylinder head like that enjoyed by the works bikes, but the major development was the arrival for 1951 of the Featherbed frame that enabled Norton works rider Geoff Duke to take the 350cc and 500cc world titles that year. The cycle parts remained essentially unchanged from then on, apart from the adoption of a double-sided, TLS front brake for 1962. Manx engine development though, continued steadily until production ceased at the end of ’62, the most significant design change being the adoption of ‘square’ bore and stroke dimensions for 1954.
The vicissitudes of racing being what they are crashes, blow-ups, rebuilds, engine swaps, etc it is not so surprising that so many old racing motorcycles no longer have their original engines, which makes this ‘matching-numbers’ Manx something of a rarity. Owned since the 1970s, it has been fully rebuilt/restored by the highly skilled engineer vendor with help from the late marque specialist, Ray Petty.
The machine was restored prior to 1986 in preparation for a visit to Cornwall by the late Geoff Duke, who requested a suitable motorcycle on which to do some demonstration laps (a photograph of Geoff riding the vendor’s Manx is on file). Indeed, Geoff Duke was the last person to ride this Manx, and since 1986 it has been dry-stored in the vendor’s sitting room and started only occasionally. The machine appears in excellent condition throughout, although it should be noted that it has not seen active use for some 30 years and will require re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the track.
Een bod willen uitbrengen op de komende veiling? Ga dan snel naar de site van Bonham. Behalve deze racer staan daar nog tal van de andere leuke en goedkopere bouwprojecten. Wees er wel snel bij…!