2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction

1951 Norton Manx 500cc Racer



Passed In


Engine 500cc DOHC air-cooled single
Gearbox Manual
Body Work Motorcycle
Colour Silver
Trim Red
Wheels Chrome Wire
Brakes Drum


This lot is no longer available

The Norton Manx was produced from 1947 to 1962. Its maker had entered every Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race from 1907 until well into the 1970s, an unrivalled achievement: indeed, the Manx was developed specifically to win the race. The "Double overhead cam" double overhead cam configuration was developed in 1937 and after many problems perfected the following year. Production was delayed by the outbreak of World War Two but the motorcycle re-emerged for the 1946 Manx Grand Prix. In 1950 the innovative Featherbed frame was developed, giving the Manx a significant competitive advantage through a low centre of gravity and short wheelbase which suited it perfectly to the tortuous island "Snaefell Mountain Course" TT course. The all-welded, tubular featherbed frame was light and trim, without the usual forgings that added unnecessary weight. In 1950, the featherbed Manx recorded a double hat-trick of podium positions at the TT. The Manx engine was redesigned in 1953 with a much shorter stroke of 86.0 mm × 85.6 mm (3.39 in × 3.37 in) to improve the rev range.
The most famous Manx racer was Geoff Duke who won three world championships on his Manx 500 – as well as a trio of Isle of Man TTs between 1950 and 1953. Duke and the Manx were the superstars of the early 1950s motorcycling world. Ultimately, Geoff Duke won six world championships and a matching number of Isle of Man TTs.