Classic Bike Guide

Square Four


997cc ohv four || 480lb || 45mpg || 100mph || (Mk.1 and Mk.2) || 1949-1959

The famous British postwar four is one of those special machines that attracts a premium. Despite having a one-litre engine it is not a high-performanc­e mount, but it is incredibly smooth – if a little noisy. Early models are prone to overheatin­g if travelling in traffic and the solo handling can be a little challengin­g at speed, not least because the Anstey link plunger rear end can struggle with the weight and performanc­e and can be hard to set up. The brakes can also have difficulty coping with arresting your speed, more obviously so if two-up or hauling a sidecar. A highly desirable and functional bike with a unique cachet and solidly rising in value. Mk2 bikes are easier to rebuild. For real exclusivit­y, track down one of the 22 1960s Healey specials.

Prices: low £10,000 || high £16,000

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