Norton 1950 Model 30 “Inter” 490cc 1 cyl OHC 3406



Norton 1950 Model 30 “International” 490cc OHC frame # E11 29964 engine # 29964 E11 gearbox # G 55 A 428

One of the most charismatic model names in motorcycling history, ‘International’ was first used by Norton for its top-of-the-range sports roadster in 1932. The Inter’s Arthur Carroll-designed overhead-camshaft engine had been developed in the works racers for the preceding two years, and although it retained the classic 79x100mm bore/stroke dimensions and shaft-and-bevels cam drive of the existing CS1, was entirely new. Based on the works bikes and intended for racing, the International could nevertheless be ordered with refinements such as lights and a kickstart-equipped gearbox. In 1939, by the time production was halted by the war, the Inter was being built with a four-speed foot-change gearbox and plunger rear suspension (the ‘Garden Gate’ frame), reappearing after the war in similar guise save for the adoption of the hydraulically-damped Roadholder front forks. From 1957 the International was only built to special order in very small numbers; production ended in 1958. New for the 1950 model year were petrol and oil tanks that were secured by means of bolts passing through the tanks, similar to the fixing of the tanks on the Manx machines. At least, that is what the 1950 brochure says; according to other sources these tanks were available to special order as Clubman’s tanks. The idea behind this type of tank was that the risk of tank-splitting was supposed to be reduced.

The machine on offer has literally been collecting dust for quite some time; under this “Sleeping Beauty” finish the paintwork is in remarkable good condition. It appears this Inter has been restored in the distant past and then was put aside. A continuation logbook issued in October 1958 mentions a Mr Bird from Sheffield as the owner; in 1971 a new owner was registered but there are no further mentions of change in ownership. The record of licences issued shows the machine was licensed between October 1958 and September 1962. According to Marque Specialist Barry Strickland this Inter presents itself as a genuine matching-numbers 1950 Inter, fitted with a Clubman’s fuel tank. The “55” code in the gearbox number refers to the Daytona specification box, which had a special high first gear. According to Norton factory records this machine was despatched to “Bradbury, Sheffield”. The odometer shows a total mileage of 33,044. Recommissioning will be required, but this Sleeping Beauty starts readily, sounds healthy and rides fine. She comes with Brooklands-type exhaust, 120 mph Smiths speedo, Terry saddle, bum pad, prop stand and original T shaped Lucas battery. On top of the petrol tank sits a sponge-rubber pad on which a prone rider could rest his chin when he was in racing mode…