Wednesday, April 11, 2007


The focus of this year's display was 'Racing Nortons', in honor of the significant history of these machines in the Isle of Man's centenary year. Top pic shows yours truly atop Paul Adam's '37 Norton Manx GP (they didn't call them 'Manx' until after ww2), which he had just finished restoring, and which was the finest machine present in my opinion. Paul's attention to detail is impressive, and I love the satin chrome finish on all the nuts and bolts - a difficult process to source these days, with environmental regulations on plating by-products (like hydrogen cyanide). Perhaps in the Sierra foothills where he lives, the EPA isn't paying as much attention. You might note that the engine has black crankcases, indicating that they're magnesium; these 'Manx GP' models were the first Nortons sold to the public with this ultra-light material. Previously, only factory racers used mag. I think Paul's bike is one of a handful of survivors of this particular model; I've only ever seen pix of two others. Note also straight exhaust pipe, not a megaphone.

Pete Young and I were the judges of pre-war machines at the show, and awarded the Norton Best in this category. An impressive machine; even my suit is turning green in the photo!

The display of Nortons was perhaps the best 'featured marque' display ever seen at the Clubman's Show, with over 20 compelling racing Nortons, ranging from my '26 TT bike to 70's Commando production racers. Kudos to the show organizers for bringing such a diverse lot together.

Bottom pic shows a couple of attendees in their Rocker finest, admiring a speedway machine with Triumph Tiger Cub engine. There was a great crowd at the show, quite a few Rockers in fact, and I managed to pick up a whole load of Velocette spares for my projects.