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BMCT SECURES IMPORTANT MANX NORTON

BMCT trustee and former TT winner John Kidson (right) presents the latest BMCT acquisition to Matthew Richardson of Manx National Heritage. The bike is the ex-Bill Beevers/Noel Stephenson/Ben Noble 350 Manx Norton which has a long history of TT and MGP racing behind it, and is unrestored and still in "as raced" condition. It will form an important part of the Manx Museum's new exhibition opening in 2020.


Bill Beevers bought the bike new in 1960 to use for his swansong TT (he had been racing since the early 1930s and was by then 55 years old). He finished 6th in the Sidecar race, 35th in the Senior on his 500 Manx, and 44th in the Junior TT on this bike. It was then sold to Noel Stephenson of Preston, who raced it the Junior Manx Grand Prix from 1961 to 1965, before it was acquired by Bernard (Ben) Noble, of Driffield. Ben campaigned the bike at the Manx Grand Prix for some thirty years in the Junior and Junior Classic classes, with a best result being 19th in the 1985 Classic, and a best lap speed of 81.86 mph in 1993.


What makes this 350 Manx so unusual is its continuous documented history and its “as raced” condition. These attributes attracted the attention of the people at Manx National Heritage, who had been looking for a long time for such a bike to form part of an important new gallery exhibition they are developing at the Manx Museum in Douglas. When asked, we were delighted to assist by acquiring the machine, with memorabilia including Ben Noble’s pudding basin helmet and leathers, and placing it on long term loan in the museum.


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