Is this the UK's only Munch Mammoth

Published: 10 February 2012

When it comes to classics they don't get much rarer - or wilder - than the Munch Mammut (or Mammoth in English).

Unveiled at the 1966 Cologne show, the Mammoth was the creation of German engineer Friedl Munch, whose dream was to build the most fantastic motorcycle in the world.

With financial backing fromAmerican workshop-manuals millionaire Floyd Clymer, he arguably achieved just that.

Using an 1177cc four-cylinder NSU car engine, the Mammoth produced 88bhp (amazing power for the time) and was good for over 130mph - a full two years before Honda's first CB750/4 superbike. For Top Trumps in the '70s, the Mammoth was the card to have.

Over the next decade some 450 examples of the handmade superbike would roll out the Ossenheim factory gates but of these only around 200 now exist; a collector in Germany has 30, a Frenchman 18 and 20 more are in a museum in America.

But after a 10 year search West Country enthusiast John Ransome now owns what is believed to be the only example of a Mammoth in the UK, not to mention 28 other machines.

“My Munch, made in 1970, was number 147 to leave the factory,” Ransome told MCN. “I got her from a US dealer and remember it arriving in a crate held together by 597 nails!”