1932 Norton International

When I first saw the auction for this 1932 Norton International, there was hope for me because it was a “Make an Offer” bid. I can make an offer, but will it be accepted? Not likely.

From the seller

According to the VMCC this Norton was supplied to Imperial Motors, Bedford on 8th October 1932 but was only sold nearly two years on, to a Mr King of Bedford in 1934, as for the engine it was supplied to Colmore of Birmingham on 4th Jan 1938, maybe a replacement for the bike?

The International was an Arthur Carroll redesign of CS1 which was designed for Norton by Walter Moore before Moore moved to NSU.  (the joke right after Moors departure was that NSU stood for Norton Spares Used) The model 30 in 500cc was first offered in 1931 and continued on until 1957. The model 40 was the same engine design but in the Junior 350cc design. I wish that it was required to keep a log of all changes made to a motorcycle. I have often cursed the PO, and would love to read the reason why they had done what they did. The reason why this bike when from 500cc to 350cc would be a good read.

More from the seller

This bike has not been made out of bits and peices, it has always been a complete machine. The previous owner restored the bike over ten years ago and had the bike 30 plus years before he restored it and was in many boxes, so it has been in the same family for over 40 years. This Norton has only ever been on static display in a house and has never been run since it was completed, no fuel or oil has been in either of the tanks. This is a stunning example with many nice features, it has a smith’s 120mph speedo, smith’s rev counter, left hand side oil filler neck, Amal T.T. carb, Andre stearing damper, rear sets and Brooklands can.

The two components that stick out to me as being must haves on a racing bike are the Brookland can and the left fill oil tank. If you wanted to circle the 2 ¾ high banked racetrack at Brooklands from the early 19’teens until it closed in 1939 the fishtail style exhaust was a requirement. It was developed to quiet down both motorcycles and cars to appease the neighbors of the famous track. The oil tank with a fill to the left means that it is perfectly set up to race around the other primer course of the time, the Isle of Man Mountain Course, as the pit lane was on the left side. So these two items were a must if you wanted to compete at the highest levels.

I will always be excited by pre-war race bikes. They may not have no real suspension. They may be down on power even comparing to classic Honda’s. The bare minimum to make you go the maximum speed has its appeal, and this 1932 Norton has (or lacks) that. Even if I would be limited to lapping the neighborhood a few times before the police were called by the annoyed neighbors. BB

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