1929 Rudge Ulster Grand Prix


  • Believed to have raced at the Isle of Man TT in 1930
  • Restored by renowned Rudge enthusiast Fred Moss and raced at Vintage Club events
  • Beautifully preserved, having lived in the vendor’s house for some years
  • Full mechanical overhaul carried out at a cost of £2,133 carried out in 2016
  • Features desirable period racing features including foot operated gear change and twin ‘fish-tail’ exhaust silencers

The Appeal

For those who wished to compete in the Isle of Man TT races almost a century ago, a Rudge was the machine you coveted. Their Ulster Grand Prix Model with its 499 cc OHV engine, four-speed gearbox and enormous eight inch drum brakes was ‘guaranteed’ to achieve ninety miles per hour and cost the then considerable sum of £70! 

This 1929 example was originally optioned with twin ‘fish-tail’ exhaust silencers and left foot operated gear change as was most commonly chosen for racing machines. It’s believed that it took part in the TT races in 1930, as many of these bikes did, being deemed too expensive for the average road rider at the time. 

It was rediscovered (in boxes) by well known Rudge Whitworth enthusiast Fred Moss, who carried out a full restoration before campaigning the bike at Vintage Club events. It’s been in current hands for over twenty years, where it has been carefully preserved while stored inside the vendor’s house. Subject to extensive mechanical reconditioning in 2016 to the tune of over £2,000, it’s in fine fettle and ready to be ridden.

The History and Paperwork

  • Ordered new in typical racing specification
  • Believed to have participated in the 1930 Isle of Man TT races
  • Rebuilt from a dismantled state by its previous owner - Rudge enthusiast Fred Moss
  • Later raced by Moss at a number of events
  • In present ownership for over twenty years
  • Last V5C change (logged as ownership change) dated 2011
  • Current V5C present
  • Subject to a mechanical overhaul in 2016
  • A hand-written invoice for the work is included
  • Copy of an article about Fred Moss and the bike
  • Copy of original Rudge Whitworth sales material for this model
  • Retains its original registration
  • Raced and daily ridden in the past
  • Exempt from road tax and MOT tests

The Condition

  • Competition trim with no lights fitted
  • Period correct livery in black and gold
  • Charming hand-painted registration numbers
  • Single seat with additional cushion for pillion passenger
  • Tax disc holder with period tax disc
  • Original tank graphics carefully replicated
  • All the paintwork presents well and has weathered in nicely since the bike was restored
  • Both wheels and tyres appear in very good order
  • Currently wearing the race number ‘6’
  • Light patina to the seat upholstery, grips and foot pegs
  • Both frame and fuel tank appear corrosion and damage free
  • Light wear to the paintwork in places as befits a racing bike of this vintage 
  • A set of period Rudge knee grips are provided but not fitted at present

We can completely understand why the vendor displayed this motorcycle in their house, rather than hiding it away in the corner of a garage. It has fabulous lines, looking like it’s doing its full claimed ninety miles per hour even when standing still.

Subject to an older restoration and seeing some competition use since, all is now weathering in very nicely with some light patina to the paintwork, fittings and upholstery which really suits it. It clearly wasn’t over-restored in the first place which is just the right level of finish for a racing bike of this vintage. 

The Mechanics 

  • 499 cc single cylinder engine with four enclosed overhead valves
  • Dome-topped aluminium piston with fully floating gudgeon pin
  • Roller bearing big end
  • Dry sump lubrication system with Duplex pump
  • Sports Amal carburettor
  • Four-speed gearbox with left-foot operation
  • Eight inch drum brakes
  • Girder fork suspension
  • 2016 mechanical overhaul detailed by the hand-written invoice provided
  • Said to be running well and riding as it should

Tackling a road course while nearing speeds of one hundred miles per hour on this bike is mightily impressive for 1920s engineering and testament to the advanced ability of those in Rudge Whitworth works in period. 

Following an extensive mechanical overhaul in 2016, it is said to be in rude health mechanically, running and riding well with no issues to report. 


This magnificent Rudge is a great piece of motorcycle racing history. We envy the next owner who will likely embark on uncovering more of this bike’s no doubt esteemed past. The Fred Moss connection is fabulous to have, as is the reassurance of the judicious maintenance in present ownership. Be sure not to miss this museum-worthy classic motorcycle.


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1929
  • Make Rudge
  • Model Ulster Grand Prix
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer
  • Engine size 499
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Bradford On Avon
  • Location Wiltshire
  • Country United Kingdom

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