Very rare 1956 Ariel HS sidecar trials combination For Sale
PLEASE NOTE THE BIKE IS CURRENTLY IN FRANCE BUT CAN BE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR FOR FREE... but, please, no more timewasters.
Well, here is a rare beast… a 1956 Ariel HS sidecar combination, fitted with a 1950 Watsonian International Competition swept-tail chair.
The only surviving example of the five factory PRS swinging arm scrambles frames built in 1956, and one of the very few remaining examples from the 50s in general, this handsome machine was delivered to Snapes of Accrington in February of 1956, with factory-fitted sidecar lugs and heavy duty springs and rear dampers.
The bike features a 1956 HT engine (delivered to Colmore Depot, Manchester in April 1956) the HT engine/HS frame combination being the favoured choice of the pro riders of the day, the best mix of engine flexibilty and frame rigidness required for the rigours of trials competition.
Fitted with an Amal Monobloc 376/11T carb, Burman GB45L55 four speed gearbox, Lucas competition magneto and an HS straight through exhaust with short silencer. Steel HS tank, treated with POR-15 against the dreaded ethanol...
Frame number: PRS-1**SC
Engine number: MJ15*
The chair was fitted by Snapes in 1956 when they took delivery of the bike, and was restored in 1999 on the original frame and bottom pan, preserving the “wobbly wheel” of the ‘G’ chassis, which ran from 1949-51. Panels were replaced true to the originals in ply and aluminium alloy.
The outfit has been in my ownership since 2013, being my father’s before me, his tenure being unfortunately curtailed by ill health. He purchased the machine from Ariel enthusiast Malcolm Eaves in 2009, who used the combo extensively around the Blackpool area on club runs and rallies. Malcolm came by the machine in 1999, after it had been left unused for around 25 years.
The combo was featured in Classic Bike back in January 2001, so have a sift through your back issues to read the article, for more information.
The whole outfit was restored by Malcolm and friend Ian Wray in 1999, though now has a lovely patina and shows some battle scars, most noticeably a hammered-out dent in the front of the chair after an interaction with a small tree… it was either that or the river! This is a competition trials bike at the end of the day and not a glorified Meccano set, please bear that in mind, and has been used for what the factory intended, and is all the better for it. With respect, if you are someone who prefers polishing your bikes with Autoglym and Autosol to riding them, then this probably isn’t for you.
The bike is road registered, suitable for daytime use and fitted with a speedo (Smiths D type) with current logbook (showing my UK address) in my name and has been well-used around The Lakes by me, usually for gentle green laning but also regular stops at the Lakeland Motor Museum, where curator Chris will vouch for me! Runs very well, excellent skyward-launching compression on the kick... valve lifter a must. Please note it has been more or less unused for the past three years, following a move abroad, so will require the usual recommissioning checks prior to being ridden in anger again. Insurance was not a problem. The period number on the bike is transferable. Tax and MOT exempt.
Various technical documents and drawings will be supplied with the bike, as well as some receipts from Draganfly (1999 onwards) and a letter from 1997 giving some researched history of the outfit.
Reason for sale? Well, all things must pass, and as I now live in France where registration conditions are more strict for bikes, it isn’t possible for me to road register it, plus the chair is on the left so not conducive to continental traffic. It is too nice to just be ridden around my field, and given that I can’t legally ride it on the roads, head has had to prevail over heart.
As detailed, the outfit is in France, but can be delivered back to the UK (for free depending on your location...) by prior arrangement, as I have a van (next visit is early March, but I am open to other dates). Please feel free to give me a call to discuss any details, either about the bike, chair or logistics on 0033 650191287 and I will call you back.
I will consider a swap against a Lancia Fulvia (pre-1976), Autobianchi etc... left hand drive only, please, or a CB750K or Z900 Z1 etc. give me a try...
Bank transfer or bankers draft preferred. For your peace of mind, I have plenty of documentary evidence, and will answer any genuine questions re. provenance etc.
All the best.
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