Year of manufacture1953
1953 Ariel 998cc Square Four MkII
Registration no. VFF 428
Frame no. ES538
Engine no. GL344
Designed by Edward Turner, the first Ariel Square Four was shown at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in 1930. Conceived as an overhead-camshaft 500, the model grew to 601cc before a total redesign saw it emerge as the Model 4G, with 995cc overhead-valve engine, in 1937. Anstey-link plunger rear suspension became an option in 1939 but would not be offered again until 1946, when a telescopic front fork replaced the previous girder type. An exercise in weight shedding saw the cast-iron cylinder head and barrel replaced by alloy components for 1949, the revised model being known as the Mark I. Introduced in 1953, the 'four pipe' MkII with redesigned cylinder head elevated the Square Four into the league of genuine 100mph motorcycles. Square Four production, along with that of all other Ariel four-strokes, ceased in 1959. To date, the innovative Ariel Square Four remains unique in motorcycling history; a true 'gentleman's motorcycle, this refined yet charismatic machine retains an enthusiastic and loyal following and is highly prized by discerning enthusiasts. This Square Four MkII is believed to be an older restoration. 'VFF 428' has been in dry storage for several years and will require re-commissioning before further use. Sold strictly as viewed, the machine comes with an old-style V5 registration document and is offered without reserve. It should be noted that the engine dates from 1955.