At its introduction it got the factory code word of “Speedy”, which certainly showed some foresight: speeds up to 100 mph were attainable with carefully tuned engines. In the course of 1923 a number of speed events were won, but in 1924 the Model 18 really showed what it was capable of.
In June Alec Bennett won the senior TT on a model 18 with an average speed of 61.64 mph; the sidecar TT was won by George Tucker on a 588 cc version of the model. Both the French and Belgian GPs were won, and Bert Denley captured the coveted British One Hour Record at 87.07 mph.
In 1925 a new drum brake and Webb centre spring forks were featured; in 1926 the Model 18 got a mechanical oil pump which was fitted to the magneto drive cover. For 1927 a 490 cc OHV with “ lubrication of the constant circulation Semi Dry Sump type” became available, this model was catalogued as the Model 21. We assume that at some point in history this Model 18 was fitted with a technological more advanced M 21 engine.
The engine left the works on February 27th 1927 and went to a dealer called Jack Pilling of Bury, Lancashire. The frame left the Norton works in July. This machine has been restored with care; the restorer has given this mighty vintage sports mount a “Sprint Norton” touch.
Report by Yesterdays