15th Nov, 2023 13:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

Lot 245

1937 Rudge Ulster
The famous 500cc 'Ulster'

Sold for £10,580

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: GME 491
Frame No: 60566
Engine No: U2181
MOT: Exempt

  • Authentically presented 500cc Ulster
  • Bronze head with twin exhaust ports
  • Older restoration supplied with a V5C

The Rudge Ulster was made famous by Graham Walker's victory in the 1928 Ulster Grand Prix thus giving the bike its name. It was one of the first times a road race had been won at an average speed of more than 80mph, setting a lap record of over 82mph. In the same year, Ernie Nott set a new two-hour world record at over 100 mph and went on to set further records in 1929. The bike became the mainstay of road racing in the day with even Enzo Ferarri running a race team in Italy using Rudges. It was supplied ready to race to privateers and was comparatively inexpensive, so the Ulster went on to win many honours in the Isle of Man TT and other international events. Unfortunately, works supported racing and the supply of race machinery ended around the mid-thirties with the death of Rudge-Whitworth principal and driving force J.V. Pugh and subsequent diversification into autocycles, and other badly managed ventures caused the demise of the Rudge concern in 1940. The Ulster, sporting its distinctive bronze head, has become one of the most sought-after bikes of the era.

This authentically presented 1937 Rudge Ulster has been part of an enthusiast’s small private collection for a number of years. Not much is known of its early history, but it was bought by the vendor in 2003 and restored by him over the intervening years, keeping as much originality as possible and doing very few miles since. Still sporting its all-important bronze cylinder head the bike has not been run for the last couple of years so will need recommissioning before use but the engine turns over with compression and the gears select. A rare chance to acquire one of the best bikes from the pre-war era supplied with a current V5C.


Auction: National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands, 15th Nov, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe and the only one owned and managed by its employees.

An auction of classic motorcycles & vintage scooters taking place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands.


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