1955 Ariel 500cc Red Hunter Frame no. DU 7413 Engine no. DU 2204 (see text)
Val Page's arrival at Ariel in 1925 as Chief Designer would trigger an upturn in the Selly Oak firm's fortunes. Page designed new models to replace the existing range, the first of which - a pair of singles displacing 600cc (sidevalve) and 500cc (overhead-valve) - debuted later that year. By 1930 the Ariel single had gained a rear-mounted magneto and its distinctive timing cover, and the engine's basic design - though frequently revised - would stand the company in good stead well into the post-war era. In 1932 the sports versions were christened 'Red Hunter' and, under Page's successor Edward Turner, developed into fast and stylish machines. In mid-1946 the Hunters became the first models to feature Ariel's new telescopic front fork, and the following year could be ordered with the optional Anstey Link plunger rear suspension. A new duplex loop frame with swinging-arm rear suspension was adopted for 1954 and the 500cc VH gained an alloy 'head at the same time (a feature the 350cc NH would not enjoy until the 1956 range was announced). In 1956 full-width alloy hubs were adopted across the range, and the Red Hunters continued in this form until production of Ariel four-strokes ceased in 1959. This beautifully restored Red Hunter is offered with Danish registration papers. It should be noted that the engine number has been re-stamped.