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Hi all, I've recently acquired an Ariel W/NG which is pretty much in standard condition other than having been painted black at some point in the past. The frame number is XG 11573, which appears to be from early in the first contract, according to O&M.
Could anybody help with any further information please?
E.g. Serial number for the tank, assuming it was supplied to British forces?
Original engine number?
Date of original despatch?
Not expecting to find any service history or disposal date, but...
I'll be returning it to original condition in due course so I'm assuming "Service Brown" would be the right colour for a 1940 bike?
Thanks in anticipation,
Rupert, the serial numbers are in O&M. 11573 is the 388th bike which makes it C4312365. In 1940 the service colour was Khaki Green. Service Brown didn't come in till 1942. Ron
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Hi Ron, thanks again for your expertise, I wasnt sure if the serial numbers ran consecutively alongside the frame numbers or were randomly allocated.
Thanks for confirming correct colour at that time.
There was some doubt cast about the sequence of W/NG frame/census numbers. But we have proved conclusively that they were indeed, numbered in sequence. I'm sure it's all in a previous thread if you search for it? Ron
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Hi Ron, I've looked up your previous posts linking frame and census numbers, understood thanks, very informative.
Any suggestions about where to go for W/NG despatch records and service history? Just in the hope I may find out a bit more about what I'm dealing with.
Appreciate your help thankyou.
Hi Rupert, I have managed to find it in the factory despatch books. It took some finding as the books are all in engine number order-
Customer- BG (British Government) Engine BH1723, Frame XG11573 Tab (works assembly number)447 tyres D (Dunlop) despatch date 17th July 1940.
Alas the despatch records for the W/NGs rarely give away more information than that.
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Contract C8302 appears to have been delivered entirely to RAOC Chilwell. Planned deliveries were at a rate of 150 per week.
There is generally a delay of a day or two before despatches were booked in (in the case of Norton, they were sent from Birmingham by rail).
The record card shows 80 arriving on 18th July, 13 on the 19th and 13 on the 20th.
Chilwell would then have allocated as required. Regrettably neither the individual vehicle records nor Chilwell's master card system have survived so there is no way of knowing where the machine was sent.
This is the best image that I can find of a C8302 machine, in use with an RE Bomb Disposal unit. It looks quite well-worn so likely to be 1941 or later.
Hi Mick and Rik, I'm indebted to you both for that information, absolutely brilliant and more than I was hoping for! many thanks for taking the time and trouble.
So it looks like I have the original engine, 1723, although it has been overstamped with 4122, and July 1940 is good enough for me!
Also very pleased that I can authentically refinish it as per RAOC.
Any ideas about the survival rate from this first British army contract? Any known survivors earlier than my example (I'm sure there must be some)? Is there an Ariel W/NG register of survivors?
Kind regards, Rupert.
Not wanting to dampen your enthusiasum for your new project or to be the bearer of bad news but have you checked the frame number against the V5 document? I believe that there is a discrepancy! perhaps something that does need sorting out. I think the bike is right but it doesn't match the identity of the logbook
I found this out before bidding on ebay when the seller changed the listing to 'no logbook' even though he had one! Lets hope its something that can be rectified.
Hi Peter, nothing that I wasn't aware of when I bought it thanks, and nothing which can't be dealt with in the form of an age related registration number on the original frame number, if necessary.
I'll make that decision when I'm ready to commission the bike...
That's good, I feared that someone would bid on it without being aware of the issues only to then get an unexpected shock.
Yes, I would think that to re-register once its ready will ensure that all is correct.
Good Luck, Pete