Lot 356 - 1937 Ariel 500cc Red Hunter
|Estimate||£9,000 - £10,500|
'Red Hunter' was the name given to Ariel's range of sporting singles; making its debut in 1932. Designed by Val Page, the engine was a development of the overhead-valve single he had introduced six years earlier and was carefully tuned for increased performance with polished flywheels, a cylinder head boasting polished ports and combustion chamber and racing carburettor and magneto. The Red Hunters were strikingly handsome machines with red fuel tank panels and wheel centres and a tank-top instrument panel which included speedometer, oil pressure gauge and an inspection light.
The 500cc Red Hunter was the first to appear and was also known as the Model VH. It featured a four-valve cylinder head and fashionable twin exhaust ports. A 350cc, or Model NH, followed very quickly but differed in that it featured an inclined cylinder and a two-valve cylinder head. Later that year Ariel ran into financial difficulties but was saved by Jack Sangster, whose family had been involved with the company since the Victorian era. The factory and workforce were slimmed down and Chief Designer, Val Page departed for Triumph. His successor was Edward Turner who had already designed the ground breaking Square Four model for Ariel. Turner rationalised the Ariel range to use as many common parts as possible and the sloping engines were discontinued. The Red Hunter range was extended down to the 250cc LH by reducing the bore size of the 350 to 61mm and the 500cc VH no longer featured a four-valve cylinder head.
This very original, matching numbers, 1937 Red Hunter has been in the vendor's ownership for the past 23 years and prior to that, was owned for a similar period by renowned historic car and motorcycle racer, David Beckett. It has been fastidiously maintained in excellent riding condition and consequently features a number of small modifications for reasons of practicality such as a dual filament stop and tail light, more modern petrol taps and a more effective horn. The original parts have been kept and come with the bike. The Ariel comes with a V5C registration document, buff log book, VMCC Dating Certificate, owner's handbook, a number of special tools, current MoT test certificate (valid until February 2016) and full MoT history while in the vendor's ownership. The Ariel Red Hunter is rightly regarded as one of the finest sporting machines of the 1930s and the example offered today presents a rare opportunity to acquire an unmolested example with excellent provenance and in ready to ride condition.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.