1938 New Imperial 46 DL


  • One of only three known 1938 model-year 46s in the UK
  • Fully rebuilt mechanically to as-new condition
  • Freshly restored with brand new paintwork on petrol tank and mudguards
  • Rare Draper patent cantilever rear suspension
  • Displayed at the 2023 Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show

The Appeal

Introduced in 1936, the New Imperial 46 was introduced as a bike for the truly discerning biker. Fast, comfortable, and supremely refined, they were amongst the most desirable bikes on the market.  

It was beautifully styled, capable mount that, in De Luxe versions such as this, offered innovations like a foot-change gearbox, chromium plated tank and valanced mudguards, all of which were available for an extra cost. The bike also offered the unusual feature of Draper patent cantilever rear suspension - at a time when most bikes didn't carry a rear suspension at all.  

This particular 46 De Luxe is one of those full-featured motorcycles, and has undergone a comprehensive bottom-up mechanical restoration, ensuring it runs as well as it did when it first left the factory. With brand new paintwork on the petrol tank and mudguards, and a fully rebuilt engine, this motorcycle has been dry garaged and meticulously maintained.

This classic bike is a real looker that we're sure is going to attract plenty of attention.

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History and Paperwork

  • Registered in 1938
  • 8 owners up to 1958, 3 recorded registered keepers on V5 since 1974
  • Purchased on 8th May 2021
  • Displayed at the 2023 Bristol Classic Motorcycle show on the New Imperial Owners Association stand
    • Here, it won 2nd prize for a club stand
  • Card logbook present up to the year 1958
  • Complete with reproduction 1930s licence disc
  • MOT exempt


The Condition

  • Frame paintwork in good condition
  • Brand new paintwork on petrol tank and mudguards
  • Front wheel rim appears in smart condition
  • Chromework elsewhere is average with light age-commensurate wear
  • All lights working as expected
  • New control cables fitted
  • No wear in front or rear suspension
  • Brakes in very good condition for a 1938 motorcycle

The Mechanics

  • 350cc single port OHV engine
  • Manual transmission with 4 gears
  • Fully rebuilt mechanically to as-new condition
  • New crank pin, piston, and rebored cylinder
  • New big end, little end, and main bearings
  • Restored carburettor, magneto, and dynamo
  • New clutch bearings and plates
  • New gearbox bearings
  • Restored kickstart pawl and bearings
  • Originally had foot gear change, converted to hand by previous owner; all parts to revert to foot gear change are included
  • We understand the bike is working as expected with no faults to note
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This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind.
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Auction Details
  • Year 1938
  • Make New Imperial
  • Model Model 46
  • Colour Black
  • Mileage
  • Engine size 350
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Sturminster Newton
  • County Dorset
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
1 Bid
  • xlwsupe•••• £500 11/07/24

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