This multi-angle onboard shows the legendary Yorkshireman aboard a Marsh Racing Manx Norton during New Zealand’s famous Boxing Day Races in 2013. Watch Martin take on the high-speed Wanganui Cemetery Circuit from an unusual under-seat angle.
The Manx Norton, or the Norton Manx, depending on who you ask, was built between 1947 and 1962 by Norton Motors Ltd. The name was first seen with the 'Manx Grand Prix' racing model that launched in 1936 – based on the manufacturer’s International roadster, with the addition of telescopic forks and a plunger rear suspension, magnesium crankcases and cam-box, and no lights.
The Manx name took a hiatus during the war, before Norton revived in with the 1947 overhead cam, single-cylinder racing machine, available in either 350cc or 500cc capacities. In 1950, the incredibly agile McCandless brothers Featherbed frame was introduced, leading to a number of race wins for the machine. Three years later, the Manx engine was redesigned with a shorter stroke in order to improve the rev range, before the cylinder was rotated horizontally in 1954 to give a much lower centre of gravity.
Unfortunately, that same year, a sales decline led to many manufacturers, including Norton, withdrawing from GP racing. While there was no longer a factory effort, Norton still produced the Manx all the way up until 1962, with privateers pursuing victory in its name.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day.