11-27 Update: Well, that was quick. Just a few hours after we posted this Ariel VG 500, it sold for an unknown best offer on eBay.
Ariel was a British manufacturer that was well known for innovation, especially due to the Square Four. The company had an interesting history – after producing its first bike in 1902, it closed for WWI, then nearly went bankrupt after a failed merger. Thanks to the later success of the Square Four and the Red Hunter, Ariel eventually purchased Triumph. For WWII, Ariel shifted over solely to military production, and then in 1944 it was sold to BSA. The Ariel name died out in 1970, after an eventual movement to producing smaller displacement bikes and scooters. But forget all that sad news for a moment, and let’s look back at the heyday of Ariel production in the mid ’30s, with the Ariel VG 500.
Ariel utilized lots of letter-based nomenclature in the 30s and 40s – the VG was a 500cc over head valve single cylinder capable of nearly 90 miles per hour. At 6,000 rpm, the engine produced 24 horsepower, good enough to push the 420 pound bike to 60mph in 10.9 seconds. Interesting tidbit – the engines were all run for two hours on a test bench to help maintain Ariel’s reputation for QC and reliability.
This specific Ariel VG 500 has just 4,500 miles on it, and has only had two owners since new. It spent nearly 50 years in storage in a barn, and then exchanged hands in 1994 in someone who had it completely redone. It seems that the only thing that was left alone was the odometer reading, which was not zero’d out. We’re huge suckers for this – we love seeing bikes keep their mileage, even post restoration. The restoration was actually performed nearly 20 years ago, but everything still looks great, particularly the chrome plating and the paint finish. The seller claims it might be the only 1935 Ariel VG 500 Deluxe in the US, and we have no reason to doubt him on that claim.
Find this Ariel VG 500 for sale with a BIN price of $18,000 in San Francisco, California