1936 Norton Manx Early Factory Racer
Norton’a impressive reputation was founded on its considerable success on the race track. The firs engine to carry Norton’s own name, a single-cylinder design, was produced in 1908. The company went on to develop a wide variety of singles – from racers to touring bikes to simple workhorse machines.
The model shown here is a 500cc 1936 Norton International, Borro Castellani’s race bike. It has been documented and authenticated by both Castellanis himeself and his mechanic, Cranely Jarmin. This motorcycle has seen numerous victories, including the DJ (Durban to Johannesburg) as well as TT history. At the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, the bike is accompanied by a folder with many pictures and articles provided by Castellani.
The International was introduced into Norton’s line of single-cylinder machines in 1932 and used the improved OHC engine that had been redesigned by Arthur Carroll in 1930. A sports model intended as a fast road bike or a competitive mount for the amateur racer, it was available in 350cc or 500cc models. Lights were not included in the list price, but the otherwise impressive equipment included an Amal TT carburetor, Webb competition girder forks and a 4-speed gearbox.