1959 Norton 30M Manx

The Norton Winning Way was a catch phrase that was used when describing the machines made in Birmingham. It was applicable because Norton had a way of dominating, both in the 350cc and 500cc international events. This was because of an Over Head Cam engine that was developed by Arthur Carol and Joe Craig in 1932. This 1959 Norton Manx offered on UK eBay shows what that original design had become.

From the seller

Although not a matching numbers this machine is associated with two riders whose names will be more than familiar. The chassis formed part of a 350cc 40M fitted with gearbox number 1069 that left Bracebridge Streetduring March 1959 destined for multiple World Sidecar Champion and TT winner Eric Oliver.

The engine was supplied to Briants of Biggleswade during April 1956 and was used by Alistair King. Alistair King was a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. King finished second to John Surtees in the 1959 Isle of Man Senior TT. His best season was in 1961 when he finished the year in fifth place in the 500cc world championship.

 

With racing bikes it is really hard to nail down performance number, especially 50 yr old bikes. What I did find is that some major changes in the engine in 1953 shortened the stroke allowing it to rev a little bit more. An engineer named Leo Kusmicki added some magic in the form of a Squish band and was able to generate 50hp at 7200rpm. This and the Rex McCandless designed Featherbed frame from 1950 extended the domination of the 500 single when most of the competition had moved to twins. The Manx engine was so powerful and reliable it ended up in vehicles with four wheels racing in the Formula 3 series.

Bids and parts

LUCAS 2MTT MAG
AMAL 1 3/8” CARB
MATCH BOX REMOTE FLOAT CHAMBER
SMITHS CONICAL REV COUNTER
5 GALLON PETROL TANK WITH INTERNAL BAFFLES (DENT DAMAGE ON L/S, FROM RACE CRASH)
ELEPHANTS FOOT OIL TANK
RAY PETTY MODIFICATION COIL VALVE SPRINGS
RAY PETTY MANUFACTURED VALVE COVERS
RAY PETTY “BACON SLICER” ON FRONT DRUM
RAY PETTY PGT GEARBOX
3 SPRING MANX RACING CLUTCH
MANX CONICAL FRONT AND REAR HUBS
DUNLOP WM1 FRONT ALLOY RIM
BORRANI WM2 REAR ALLOY RIM
ORIGINAL CLIP ONS AND LEVERS

 

If you find yourself at the racetrack on a vintage weekend there is a very good chance you will see an Over Head Valve Norton. They dominated world compitition from the 1930’s and into the late 1950’s, and were available to privateers as over the counter racer. And if you are lucky enough to buy this Manx don’t worry about using it hard, because there is a heath industry which enables you to purchase any part that you may break. BB

 

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