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December 2010 - 1960 350cc Manx Norton

When Norton production resumed post 1945, Norton’s readily available ‘Manx’ racers were much the same to look at as they had been pre-war. Still with the single-ohc- engine, ‘square’ cylinder head finning and plunger suspended garden gate frame housing an upright gearbox. Just the presence of the ‘Roadholder’ telescopic front fork assembly set them apart in looks from their just pre-war ’39 counterparts.

It wasn’t until 1949 that the first significant engine specification change was made, the ‘Manx’ gaining a ‘dohc’ head like that that had been enjoyed by the works bikes for many years, but the major development was the arrival of the Featherbed frame for 1951. The cycle parts remained essentially unchanged from then on apart from the adoption of a double-sided, ‘tls’ front brake for the 1962 season, engine development however continued until production ceased at the end of 1962 The most significant design change being the adoption of ‘square’ bore and stroke dimensions on both the 350 and 500 models for 1954. The works’ adoption of the McCandless-designed duplex-loop swinging-arm chassis in 1950 had given the Nortons a welcome lease of life in Grand Prix racing, with Geoff Duke duly taking both the 350 and 500cc World titles the following year.

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