1924 New Imperial 347cc Registration no. AT 8848 Frame no. not located Engine no. I/M18884/P2
Builder of the last British-made machine to win the Lightweight 250 TT (in 1936) New Imperial was unsurpassed for innovation during the 1930s, with models featuring pivoted fork rear suspension and unitary construction of engine and gearbox. The marque was established in 1900 when Norman Downs acquired a cycle company in Birmingham, which he reorganised as New Imperial Cycles. The firm's first motorcycles, designed along Werner lines, were shown at the 1901 Stanley Show in London but were not well received. Not until 1910 did Downs try again, launching a conventional JAP-powered model - the Light Tourist - that would prove an outstanding success. In racing, New Imperial concentrated on the 250 class, winning the Isle of Man TT trophy for 250cc machines in 1921 and their first Lightweight TT in 1924, a feat repeated the following year. On the commercial front, the late 1920s saw production facilities expand and proprietary engines abandoned in favour of New Imperial's own power units. This sidevalve New Imperial's accompanying old-style logbook (issued 1947) lists several owners up to the mid-1970s, all in the North East of England. It is not known when it was acquired for the collection. An older restoration, the machine will require re-commissioning before returning to the road.