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Hi Ian, I must admit I had and still have lots of questions and as such would very much appreciate any help whatsoever further researching information relating to the bike hence my emails in the first place. I'm hoping Jan can further help with this. The original conversation in 2020 referred to the bike being in Germany, which I can confirm is correct as I visited the previous owner at his home to purchase the bike. The previous owner purchased the bike in the early 1990s from the farmer/farm where it was left towards the end of the war/1945. The bike was then stored in a private house until I recently purchased it. I'm an enthusiast and will take the opportunity to thank people for being interested in the bike.
First effort of uploading photos.
And this is 487 Kratzau now, the orange building in the foreground.
Wow that is another piece of history, thank you for sharing. The Ariel International rally is in the Czech Republic 2023. I need to make plans….
Well, the photos worked, Chris. Do you have any possibility to compare the colour from under the knee grip with British Khaki Green No.3 ? It looks like it, and Ariel had supplied the War Office with 100 500cc side valve W/VAs in 1939 so they presumably had paint stocks ?
Rik, the khaki green is of course the first colour and can be found under the petrol tank (including the original cloth tape holding the wiring loom in place) and on various other parts of the bike. I think you’re already aware but just in case, the Germans then painted the bike dark grey and then some time later with what they referred to as dark yellow, a colour that was formed out of earth pigment. They were running low on resources so apparently made the colour from earth pigment and from Feb 1942 gave instructions to use this colour as the standard paint.
What I'm not aware of (and I've not thought to ask), is the original colour of the French contract machines. French vehicle colours in 1939 were complicated, to say the least...I'm pretty sure that the Enfield WD/Cs were KG3 though.
Gary, if you look on google maps at this location and spin around from the house, you will see a vehicle maintenance workshop opposite with a Lucas sign, possible indication of a previous use by another British brand Ariel.
Yes I did wonder if that might be associated, here are the pictures of it, also what looks like a old Russian army truck in the yard.
That's it! Must be a link, too much of a coincidence.
I have a contact in the Czech Republic who has kindly sent me the following information and the attached two photos of the annual Ariel Company meeting in Prague, held between 1928/32.
My contact said that his grand-grand father was co-owner of the company Štěpař, Hanák a spol, which was interested in importing Ariel motorcycles from England. Otto Seidel (the name on the tank of the Ariel NG350 in this post) was one of the best motorcycle dealers and won a lot of races as well and is No.8 in the attached photo.
The head of Ariel Works (United Kindom), Jack Sangster, invited all dealers from Czechoslowakia to meet in Prague, and is No.1 in the photo with my contact's grand-grand father No.10. Alongside Jack Sangster is No.2 Mr. Vladimír Štěpař co-owner of the company Štěpař a Hanák a spol. and on other side No.7 Herbert Kershaw United Kingdom embassy in Prague.
Hello Vincent, thank you for sharing, it’s a fantastic piece of history. I’m learning so much about the history of Ariel through likeminded people kindly sharing information, which is really appreciated. Regards Chris
Nice find well done 👍