Registration no. CO 9608
Frame no. 21180
Engine no. 35103
There can be little doubt that ‘CO 9608’ had been specially prepared by the factory with competition in mind, for although approximating to that of a Model 19 its specification does not accord with any standard production model of 1926. As confirmed by the accompanying Science Museum letter, the factory despatch book records that it was fitted with wired-on tyres (most production Nortons used beaded-edge tyres at this time) and 8″ front brakes, a size not fitted as standard until 1927, and then only to the CS1 and ES2.
Immediately after the ISDT, Pike and the Norton successfully completed 100 ascents of the formidable Bwlch-y-Groes pass in North Wales (without stopping the engine). This stunt was undertaken in the course of a test that involved a journey from Weybridge to Edinburgh and then to Land’s End, a feat of outstanding reliability and endurance that enabled Norton to retain the Maudes Trophy that it had won for the immediately preceding three years. Acting as the ACU’s observer, Pike’s passenger was journalist Arthur Bourne (‘Torrens’), later editor of Motor Cycle magazine. The factory lost no time in featuring the Pike combination in its advertisements in the motorcycling press, proudly declaring: ‘For the fourth year in succession the unapproachable Norton is awarded the highest distinction in the motorcycle world.’
Cuttings on file from Old Bike Mart reveal that in 2001 the Norton (in solo trim at that time) was owned by Barry Tyreman of Bingley, West Yorkshire. (OBM columnist and Bonhams specialist Mike Worthington-Williams had retrieved the original registration for him). A couple of years later the Norton featured again in an MWW OBM column, by which time Mr Tyreman had restored the machine, got it running and acquired a sidecar chassis. (We are advised that the original crankcases – numbered ‘30818’ – had deteriorated beyond repair and were replaced during restoration).
The Norton’s next owner (from October 2004) was Mr Andrew Sharp of Steeton, West Yorkshire, from whom the current vendor purchased it in August 2008. Only 250 miles have been covered since acquisition and the machine is described by the owner as in ‘A1’ condition.
Offered with the aforementioned documentation, expired MoT, SORN and Swansea V5C, ‘CO 9608’ represents a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine, Vintage-era, Norton factory motorcycle boasting a competition record unique in the marque’s history.
US$ 44,000 – 51,000
€33,000 – 37,000