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WW2 Contract Numbers?


MartyMcSpy
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Is there a book or website I can read that details that details all the contract numbers used on WW2 motorcycles?

I found a picture of my Grandad in WW2 riding a state issued motorcycle. The Contract number is clearly visible, but the bike is blurry.

I'd like to know what bike it is, and the year of manufacture if possible, as I'd then like to buy a similar year and model bike.

Could anyone assist?

The Contract Number is: C4393554

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Ok, that's not a contract number but a Census number, I'll check in a sec, but would be nice if you can post the picture here, that will be a lot quicker.

Cheers,

Lex

PS, all the info is in this book below.

550x820.jpg

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Wow, thank you for coming back so quickly. That's awesome. And thanks for clearing up the Census and Contract number info.

Photo of the motorcycles attached.

Now to find the same year Norton to buy. This could be the hard part.

IMG_3353.jpeg

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Yes, the 3 bikes on the left are Norton 16H's, the one on the right, I'm not sure maybe an Ariel?

The rectangle is a unit sign, maybe with a good high resolution scan it can be identified, I cannot see it too well on the above picture. 

The contract for the bike with the C4393554 number is: Contract No. V7353

Contract date June 1940  (so that was when it when ordered, this was a big contract of 17.000 bikes, so deliveries were not finished till the middle of 1941.)

The frame and engine number would have been around W33528.

I own C4394425, but it's still in a thousand parts! 

Cheers,

Lex

 

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2 hours ago, welbike said:

I own C4394425, but it's still in a thousand parts! 

Wow, that's super close in numbers, less than 1,000 away. I'm guessing that may have been in the same shipment out as my Grandads?

The picture above may have been taken in Dorset, but he also may have fought in Arnhem, so it could be either place, or anywhere in between.

Do you know anymore details about your C4394425?

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20 minutes ago, garys39 said:

Is the bike on the right a Matchless G3, with centrally mounted speedo ?

No, not a G3WO, they have hardly any clearance between the headlamp and front mudguard. 

See picture of one of mine, near Hadrians wall some years ago.

Lex

PB120409.JPG

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MartyMcSpy said:

Wow, that's super close in numbers, less than 1,000 away. I'm guessing that may have been in the same shipment out as my Grandads?

The picture above may have been taken in Dorset, but he also may have fought in Arnhem, so it could be either place, or anywhere in between.

Do you know anymore details about your C4394425?

We'll never know exactly where a bike has been, except some lucky devils that have bikes in pictures, that still exist after all these years! (I have a couple!)

More likely that the picture was taken in Dorset, Arnhem was where mostly Matchless G3L's were used, together with Welbikes and James ML's and Flying Flea's.

My 16H came as a project from Belgium, so who knows what the history was, that will be lost forever I guess. I'm slowly working on it, all has been sandblasted and painted in primer, but that's as far as I got, and then a September 1939 16H came up for sale, so bought that too, so might restore the 2 together.

Cheers,

Lex

IMG_4192.jpg

2015-03-11 17.27.27.jpg

Edited by welbike
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I agree that the bike on the right is an Ariel, Alex...the long adjuster on the front brake rod pretty much confirms it...primary chaincase could only have been Ariel or Triumph.

This is the closest Norton that I have on file to C4393554 - it is C4393379. It was very shortly after this that the number plate fittings were discontinued and the military type rear light fitted. This photo gives a good idea of how these late C7353 machines looked when first in service (No half-ton of ugly pannier frames to lug around - still a sporting single 😄).

A 1941 C4393379 W33353 C.7353.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/20/2022 at 4:33 PM, 79x100 said:

I agree that the bike on the right is an Ariel, Alex...the long adjuster on the front brake rod pretty much confirms it...primary chaincase could only have been Ariel or Triumph.

This is the closest Norton that I have on file to C4393554 - it is C4393379. It was very shortly after this that the number plate fittings were discontinued and the military type rear light fitted. This photo gives a good idea of how these late C7353 machines looked when first in service (No half-ton of ugly pannier frames to lug around - still a sporting single 😄).

A 1941 C4393379 W33353 C.7353.jpg

That's awesome! Thanks for the picture. Just 175 away, which means there's a good chance they'll have looked similar.

Turns out my search for a 1942 Norton 16H may take a while, and even if I do find one, it's unlikely to still have the army paint job on it. So I'll need to 'restore' it to the above look and get it as close as I can to an army dropped one.

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On 5/20/2022 at 10:11 AM, welbike said:

Ok, that's not a contract number but a Census number, I'll check in a sec, but would be nice if you can post the picture here, that will be a lot quicker.

Cheers,

Lex

PS, all the info is in this book below.

550x820.jpg

 

I ended up buying this book off Amazon. It's bloody fantastic. Much better than I thought it was going to be, and a great read so far.

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