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1951-3 Export Model 88

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My understanding is that they were made in very small numbers, for racing, and sold mostly in the US. They may have been supplied with Manx frames, perhaps other Manx components, and some got alloy heads.

Can anyone shed light on the model? Are there any survivors? What sort of racing record did they have?

Paul

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All of the first 88s produced were for export but I cannot find a record of any alloy heads before 1955 model year. The Featherbed was outlawed by the AMA until 1953. At Daytona in 1953, Norton twins came in 3rd and 4th in the 200 miler. The 100 miler was won by a plunger Manx.

Norton referred to these 88s as "Manx Twins" (Domiracer came later) and they looked like proper racing bikes apart from the steel wheel rims. I suspect they used one-off two carb manifolds for the iron heads since they had twin Amal racing carbs.

That's as much as I can gather from my history books.

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The Norton Factory entered a team of bikes into the 1950 International Six Days Trials. All of these machines being a combination of Model 7, 500T, Manx and specially manufactured lightweight parts. Including alloy cylinder heads. The Team consisting of 4 riders.

From then on the Factory entered their own riders into races and also supported selected privateers. With both the Featherbed frame (1949 on) and alloy heads being used.

From 1952 onwards, both standard and race pre-pared versions were also exported in small numbers. Many of the standard machines having a Manx Featherbed frame.

Info from Factory & Peter Roydhouse Records.

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I do remember seeing somewhere a photo of a prototype Export Model 88 at an Earls Court Show, perhaps 1951. Considering its non-availability, probably not a good strategic (marketing) move. I think it had a tank similar to the eventual road bikes, but remember little detail.

I don't know the name Peter Roydhouse. Was he Works development staff? Are there published memoires?

Paul

Previously Phil Hannam wrote:

The Norton Factory entered a team of bikes into the 1950 International Six Days Trials. All of these machines being a combination of Model 7, 500T, Manx and specially manufactured lightweight parts. Including alloy cylinder heads. The Team consisting of 4 riders.

From then on the Factory entered their own riders into races and also supported selected privateers. With both the Featherbed frame (1949 on) and alloy heads being used.

From 1952 onwards, both standard and race pre-pared versions were also exported in small numbers. Many of the standard machines having a Manx Featherbed frame.

Info from Factory & Peter Roydhouse Records.

 

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