This 1960 Norton Café Racer is a bit of a mystery, no one is sure who built it or what its history is, however we do know that it’s a Featherbed ES2 frame fitted with a Norton Model 77 engine. Due to the aged condition of the bike it appears that this frame/engine pairing was made in the 1960s – at the height of cafe racer culture in England (and around the world).
The current surge in popularity of cafe racers, with their simple stripped back looks and (usually) uncomplicated engineering has also led to an increase in interest in the history of the genre. The first cafe racers were being built in the late 50s and throughout the 60s, the minimalist, performance oriented focus led to entirely new genres being created in the global motorcycle market and no one could possibly have guessed that cafe racer culture would still be going strong, perhaps stronger than ever, over 60 years later.
The Norton cafe racer you see above is due to be auctioned on the 7th of June 2014 (the day after tomorrow at the time of publishing), it’s been sitting in a garage for many years and hasn’t run in over a decade. The non-running status of the bike as well as the lack of known history has led to it being offered with the startlingly low estimated value of just £1,200 to £1,500 ($2,000 to $2,500 USD) – potentially making it a steal for someone looking for an entirely original cafe racer.
Click here to view the official lot listing via Bonhams.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.