Ariel Powered – 1959 Norton “Esquire”

In Custom, England by AbhiLeave a Comment

2-27-17 Update: Nearly 2 years later, Tom W notes that this bike is back up for sale. Find it still in Bend, Oregon with bidding up to $6,000 and the reserve not yet met or a BIN of $15,000 (down from the original ask of $18,500)

You’re probably familiar with the Triton, the pairing of a Triumph engine in a Norton Featherbed frame. Maybe you’ve even heard of amusing variants like the Narley (Norton/Harley) or the Norvin (Norton/Vincent). But have you heard of the Esquire (because I sure haven’t)?

The “Esquire” is apparently the name of a conversion wherein an Ariel Square Four engine is thrown into the venerable Featherbed frame. It’s been done before – Bonhams called this hybrid a Noriel or Arton, and Jerry Romano dubbed his build the Square Norton. I cannot find any information on this bike, so I’m tentatively going to have to take the seller’s word on it. According to him or her, this period build custom paired a ’56 Square Four engine with a ’59 Norton frame. It was built in California in ’63 and was one of three builds that year. It’s claimed to ‘handle and perform flawlessly’, and it sure as hell is different. Is it $18,500 worth of different? You tell me.

Norton Esquire - Left Side

Find this Esquire for sale in Bend, Oregon with an unmet opening bid of $18,500

BONUS NORTON HYBRID GOODNESS: if the Norvin sounded appealing to you, there’s also a new build from JMC Norvin ending soon with bidding up to $15,100
JMC Norvin - Left Side