Historic TT Norton racer could fetch up to £40K: First ever ES2 up for sale as ultimate classic project

Norton ES2 TT from front view
Norton ES2 TT from front view
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This partially restored 1920s TT racer is believed to be the ‘first-ever’ Norton ES2 model and is expected to fetch £30K-£40K as the star lot at an auction of vintage vehicles and collectables at the end of the month. 

Unregistered, with frame number 1003 and engine number 35580, the 500cc single is known to be the first of four official factory TT spec’ OHV machines raced in the September 1927 Amateur TT. It’s also suspected to have competed in the earlier 1927 TT but records cannot confirm this. 

It was owned by the late Arthur Skinner of Buntingford, Hertfordshire, a well-known Norton specialist, who bought it in the mid-1990s and had begun restoring it. Following Arthur’s death in 2020 the various parts were relocated and loosely assembled into the bike you see here. 

The ES2 was a new OHV, pushrod single that Norton debuted at the 1927 TT with four factory machines along with the single camshaft-operated CS1. The CS1 won the Senior with the highest placed ES2 fourth.  

“This bike is the first ever ES2 model mentioned in Norton records,” said motorcycle historian Jeremy Curzon. “This is a fantastic discovery with loads of scope for restoration and future use at shows and rallies. It’s bound to be popular with the scores of Norton collectors out there.” 

The auction takes place at Cambridge’s Machinery Saleground near Ely on Saturday July 23. 

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.