Lot 1918


1956 Ariel VH 500cc
Reg. no. XJH 579
Frame no. PR4832
Engine no. MB855
The Red Hunter was a motorcycle made by Ariel from 1932 to 1959. Also produced in 250cc and 350cc forms, the most successful and well-known version was the 500cc. A single-cylinder bike, it formed the backbone of Ariel production despite being less famous than its larger Square Four stablemate. By the 1950s, the Red Hunter had been improved by the addition of rear suspension and an alloy cylinder head, making it a popular and capable road touring machine. All Red Hunters were easily identified by their distinctive red petrol and oil tanks.
This 1956 Red Hunter has matching frame and engine numbers as confirmed by the Ariel Owners Club. In the vendor’s 9-year ownership much work has been carried out; the engine has been rebuilt with a VHA barrel, re-bored to +20 and fitted with an original and correct Hepolite piston. The main bearings, camshaft bushes and valve seats have all been done, and the gearbox and magneto rebuilt. Recent expenditure includes a new dual seat and kickstart. The electrics are said to work well and there is plenty of charge to the battery. The vendor states that he doesn’t believe the bike has ever been fully restored; the original paint remains on the frame, for example. In continuous use with the previous owner of 40 years, it displays the kind of mellowed patina that only a continuously used and maintained machine can. It comes with some bills and a V5c.

Extra details and estimates:

£5,000 - 6,000

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Not sold

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