Norton Motorcycles 1950s

Today in Motorcycle History

Norton Motorcycles of the 1940s


Norton Model 16H

Norton Model 18

Norton ES2

Introduced in 1932, Norton's ES2 had firmly established its credentials in pre-war years. The single-cylinder engine shared the same 79mm x 100mm engine dimensions first used by James Lansdowne Norton as early as 1911. The designation "ES2" was inspired by the original design where E was for extra cost, S for sports and the 2 was a reference to the second version of the 79mm x 100mm 490cc engine. During its hugely successful 34-year production run, Norton's ES2 upheld all the best Norton traditions and remained popular due to its reliability and ease of maintenance, as well as the traditional design. In 1947, the ES2 was fitted with an innovative hydraulically damped telescopic front fork and race-developed rear plunger suspension to cope with the relatively high performance.

Source Webbs NZ

Norton ES2

Norton International

Production of the International ceased at the onset of war in 1939, and resumed in 1947

The overhead camshaft models conceived by Walter Moore had been scrutinised by the newly installed chief designer, John Carroll, who undertook a complete redesign in the late 1920s. and became officially available in the early 30s, replacing the Moore engines in the CS1 and CJ models. These were joined in 1932 by a pair of machines intended primarily for competition, equipped with a racing magneto, four speed gearbox, tuned engine and quick action filler caps typed the Model 40 and Model 30 for the 350cc and 490cc versions respectively and named the "International". Although conceived as racing machines, optionally available were a mag-dyno enabling a lighting set, and a muffler. The new machines quickly established themselves as one of the most desirable machines available for sporting riders and, with development, would continue to head Norton's road range into the fifties.

Source: H&H Classic Auctions

Norton International 30 & 40

Norton "Big Four"

Manx Norton

Development of the Norton Manx began in 1937, in both SOHC and DOHC forms, to compete at the Isle of Man TT. World War II intervened and production of the Manx was delayed until the end of hostilities.

In 1946 Norton introduced road racers for the Manx Grand Prix of that year. Closely based on the pre-war racing machines, they were given the name "Manx Norton". The 348cc 40M and 498cc 30M singles had a bevel-drive overhead camshaft, an Amal carburettor and magneto ignition. The frame was a cradle type with plunger rear suspension and Norton Roadholder front forks.

1947 Norton Manx

Model 40 348cc 71mm x 88mm
Model 30 490cc 79m x 100mm

Norton Manx 30M

Norton Manx 1949

Norton P6A Twin by Jack Moore, 1947.

Norton 500T Competition Trials

851 of the 500T machines were produced between 1949 and 1954, of which 74 were exported to the United States. These were fitted with an Amal 276 carburettor and a Smiths chronometric speedometer.


Norton WWII 1940-45

Norton 1946

Norton 1947

Norton 1948

Norton 1949