1955 Norton Manx 250


  • Original 50s racer 
  • Well presented
  • Sought after short stroke Norton 

The Appeal

A stunning piece of British engineering straight from the 1950s. This Norton Manx was raced in the 1950s before being sold into a collection. The bike is in original condition and has remained untouched other than regular oiling of the chain and grease points over the past 60 years. 

The bike is complete, which makes it a perfect recommissioning project for any Norton enthusiast or classic motorcycle fan. You could easily turn it into a parade bike for classic shows and events, or simply do what the vendor has done and use it as the piece of art it is and have it on display in a collection.

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The History And Paperwork 

Unfortunately, there is no paperwork for the Norton Manx 250 as it is a race bike. The bike was purchased along with another one by the vendor from the Lenham Collection to go in his own personal collection of classic racers. Having been admired for over 30 years, the vendor has now decided to split his collection down and auction off some of the most incredible race bikes from the 1950s. Several years ago, a specialist looked at the bike and said it was one of six built by Ray Petty, but unfortunately, there is no paperwork to corroborate this. 

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The Condition 

  • Beautiful patina
  • Roadholder forks
  • Original magnesium hubs

Starting at the front of the bike, the Mudguard is finished in gloss black and in good condition with no apparent chips or scuffs. The forks on the bike are made by Roadholder and are considered to be a great choice on the Norton, even though people do modify them for improvement. The wheel is thought to be the original Borrani, but some of the lettering has worn off. However, this is in good condition with just a small amount of tarnishing to the aluminium, and the hub is the original magnesium. 

Moving to the top of the forks, the aluminium yoke is in good order, with the drooped handlebars showing just a light amount of patina. The grips and lever also show some age wear, as expected. The Smiths tachometer is believed to be the original, but this has not been tested. 

Part of what made the Norton so fantastic is the featherbed frame. Finished in black, this looks in good order with no areas for concern. The aluminium tank is in good condition with no dings or dents; just some light polishing marks as you would expect. The strap is in place for quick removal when needed. Further back, the seat looks to be in good condition with no noticeable wear to be seen. 

The rear aluminium wheel looks in good order again, with a magnesium hub and a small amount of tarnishing. The Dunlop tyre matches the front, but they would need to be replaced before any bike riding was carried out.

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The Mechanics

  • 250cc engine
  • Original wheels
  • Four-speed gearbox
  • Featherbed frame

The vendor reports the engine in this Norton Manx to be a sleeved down 350cc making it now a 250cc short stroke. 

Whilst in ownership of the vendor, the bike has never been run, but it was purchased as a running bike. Obviously, being stood for so long the engine would require some recommissioning by someone with knowledge of these fantastic machines. The same can be said for the four-speed gearbox and braking system. 


The ideal piece of art? Or maybe you would prefer to have the hands-on approach of recommissioning it, to show and parade it at classic motorcycle events? This is a lovely bike to do either with, and whichever you decide, it’s sure to bring lots of pleasure.

Notice to bidders

All items in this listing are sold on an “As Is - Where Is” basis. Photos and listing descriptions should be used as a guide only.  Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information in this listing and Car & Classic performs a level of due diligence prior to the auction, we do not warrant the accuracy of the listings. The seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Inspection is highly recommended prior to bidding. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1955
  • Make Norton
  • Model Manx 250
  • Colour Black/Silver
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 250
  • Town Northampton
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
11 bids from 8 bidders
  • morris1•••• £13,500 30/09/22
  • Gerald £13,250 30/09/22
  • r8super•••• £13,000 30/09/22
  • judehub•••• £12,500 28/09/22
  • judehub•••• £11,500 28/09/22
  • xtype.a•••• £9,000 28/09/22
  • Gerald £8,700 28/09/22
  • judehub•••• £3,300 26/09/22
  • twirlth•••• £3,100 23/09/22
  • Ruedige•••• £3,000 23/09/22

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