1947 NORTON INTERNATIONAL MODEL 30
Chosen by: Alan Whitehead, Lancashire consultant Sold at: London Olympia sale 2007
Sale price: £29,900
George Formby remains a legendary figure in the entertainment world – the UK’S top box office star from 1938-44. His film No
Limits, a spoof on the 1935 TT, is fondly regarded by many bike fans. He was a keen rider and when he travelled to the Norton factory in Birmingham in 1947 for the radio show Workers
Playtime he was ‘presented’ with this Model 30 International – although he had already owned it for several weeks. Bonhams consultant Alan Whitehead – whose parents were friends of George Formby and his wife Beryl – owned the machine for many years before selling it at the Brooks sale at Stafford in 1996. The bike was in fully restored condition and subsequently went on display in the National Motorcycle Museum. When the time came for the owner to move the bike on in 2007, Alan helped out through his relationship with Bonhams. The bike is still at the NMM.
“My father was the resident drummer at the Palace Theatre, Manchester where George played two or three times a year. George always gave him a lift home to Bolton afterwards. It’s the most oiltight Inter I’ve ever seen.” Alan Whitehead