Ex- IOM Junior Clubman TT 1949 Norton M40 International
10th Overall in 1949 IOM Junior Clubman TT
Matching frame and engine
Excellent touring bike or racer
Norton had a tradition of building bikes for the road that were very similar to their racing models which worked both as a marketing tool and to supply their customers with the fastest bikes on the road. One of the crossover models was the famous International model that housed the Arthur Carroll designed, bevel driven overhead camshaft engine which was also used in the full Manx racing bikes. The International was available both as a M30, 500cc or a M40, 350cc Junior model and could be ordered in stripped down racing trim or with such luxuries as lights and a kick-starter. This allowed clubman racers who could not afford multiple bikes to have a both a race bike for the weekend and a means of getting to work.
The International model was a top of the range machine so it was developed during it production run and improved as technological advancements appeared. It started production with a rigid frame and Webb girder forks in 1934 before it gained plunger rear suspension (nick named the ‘Garden Gate’ frame) in the late 1930s and Roadholder telescopic forks when production started again after the hostilities of WWII ended. In 1953 the Featherbed Frame was introduced to the model along with an alloy cylinder and head, and with the new ‘laid down’ gearbox.
These were expensive bikes and as they were challenged by cheaper parallel twins with similar performance Norton decided to stop cataloguing them in 1955 although they could still be bought from the factory by special order until 1958.
This 1949 Norton International M40 was dispatched to R. Way a Norton agent in London with a special note recording ‘Clubman TT’. It was registered with the Middlesex number UMT 39 and was supplied to Mr. R. Briscoe on the 29th of May 1949. Mr. Briscoe promptly entered the bike for that years Isle of Man Junior Clubman TT where he finished a very credible 10th overall, and remarkably only 4.33 seconds behind the winning BSA and with a lap speed of 70.58mph. There are some wonderful pictures on file showing Briscoe and the Norton both on the Glencrutchery Road starting line and racing on the mountain course, which helps remind us what an amazing feat it is for any rider and bike to perform on this demanding circuit.
Following its TT adventure the Norton was returned to road trim and has been used and enjoyed as a fast touring bike ever since. After being laid up for some years the current owner acquired this wonderful machine in April 2015 and finding the bike in rather poor mechanical condition he has had the bike re-commissioned by classic bike restorers Bygone Bikes who have done a wonderful and sympathetic job returning this important Norton to her full glory.
This interesting and highly original bike, with period TT history, remains matching numbers, has a wonderful history file and comes ready for the road with a current V5C.