Nor­ton story

Classic Bike Guide - - Bookworm - BY BOB HOL­L­I­DAY

I love old bikes, but I wasn't there when they were made, I wasn't a worker in the fac­tory and I don't re­mem­ber them as a child. So my knowl­edge has to come from talk­ing to folk and read­ing books - and I must trust them. Not be­ing the most aca­demic per­son, they must also be easy to un­der­stand.

BobHol­l­i­day's Nor­ton story is just that. The time­line of the early days is great, once you can pic­ture it in your own head, and this book just seems to talk in my lan­guage. That's the pe­riod Ihad trou­ble with; JL Nor­ton dy­ing early, con­stantly chang­ing names of mod­els, and too much of Nor­ton's his­tory is wrapped up around the rac­ing that it's hard to work out how they stayed afloat which they didn't.

Hav­ing said that, it is also a time­line for changes to rac­ing, and the TT in par­tic­u­lar. While its im­por­tance came and went, the orig­i­nal re­li­a­bil­ity trial, keep­ing an eye on fuel used, would soon turn into a race, as it is to­day.

Speed tests, races and busi­ness ups and downs all add to Hol­l­i­day's book, the eas­i­est of the Nor­ton his­to­ries to un­der­stand, if not the most in-depth.

Hol­l­i­day was editor for The Mo­tor­cy­cleafter the war, so wit­nessed it first-hand. If you know your Nor­tons, then you may well al­ready know a lot of this book. But if not, I've thor­oughly en­joyed it and learned a lot. Sec­ond hand from r.s

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