1939 Ariel “Special” For Sale from the Estate of Peter Batten

UPDATE 17th November 2019 : The bike is now SOLD!

Peter Batten

As many of you know, Peter Batten was a great Ariel fan and, before he sadly passed away, he sold many of his bikes to local members.  But one remains: his Ariel “Special” project, and Peter Miller and I are now helping his family to sell it on…

Don’t have a girder fork bike for next year’s GIANTS 2 run?  Then this could be the ideal bike for you, as not much work is needed to get it on the road and you get a 500cc OHV girder fork bike for less than £4000.  Bargain, if you ask me!

So what’s the catch?  Peter Batten started building this bike from the many parts he had in his garage, so there are Ariel parts from several years.  The frame is 1939 and the V5C shows it as 1939 (yes, it is even DVLA registered!).  However, the engine is 1955 — but who cares; the Ariel single engine hardly changed at all between early 1930s and late 1950s. The girder forks are pre-1939 and the chaincase are post-war.  The V5C also shows it as a 600cc VB side-valve whereas the engine now in the frame is a fully restored 500cc VH overhead valve engine.  So if you’re an Ariel purist (rivet counter), you have a bit of work to do to bring it back to 1939 factory spec.  But that was never Peter’s intention: this is a “Special”.

Price is : sorry, it is now SOLD.  

The small print details: Engine number (prefix LB) indicates this is a 350cc OHV from 1955; however, it now has a 500cc barrel on it (350cc and 500cc bottom halves were the same).  To the best of our knowledge, the engine was fully restored by Peter: new bigend, new mains, new valves, new pistons.  The gearbox is the heavyweight Burman BA, correct for a 500cc OHV Ariel. The girder forks are between 1935 and 1938. Hubs are correct. Magneto is restored.  Correct instrument panel tank but condition unknown under all that paint but looks sound. No instruments in tank panel. No electrics, no dynamo. Missing steering damper. Saddle needs sorting and securing. The exhaust pipe is brand new; I bought it from Armours for Peter in September.

Author: Paul Wirdnam

Strangely addicted to Ariel motorcycles from the '20s, 30s and 40s.

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