15th Nov, 2023 13:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

Lot 272

1952 Ariel SQ4 Special
A unique Ariel SQ4

Sold for £8,338

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: PSL 535
Frame No: SV 471
Engine No: TM 740
CC: 997
MOT: Exempt

  • A very special Ariel SQ4
  • One of a kind and built very well
  • Runs and starts with ease and sounds great

This labour of love started out 17 years ago with the purchase of a one-off frame, the origins of which were unknown. A plea for information in the Old Bike Mart revealed that the frame had been built in the early 1970s by TT racer Robin Dawson to house an Ariel Square Four engine bored to 1300cc and with only 2 gears! Robin raced for Tom Kirby, coming 4th in the 1962 Senior TT on a G50 and winning the 350 Manx GP that same year.

The frame was built to designs laid out in technical articles by Ken Sprayson of Reynolds Tubing and carries the engine oil within the frame tubes. Over the years since the frame was bought, a Square Four engine was acquired and extensively modified. The specification includes new cylinder liners bored to accept Mini Cooper pistons, SAE660 main bearing bushes, crank-mounted 12v alternator, crank-driven mechanical rev counter drive, Morgo rotary oil pump and a repositioned distributor with electronic pick-up. A unique four-exhaust port twin carburettor cylinder-head was constructed using Peugeot inlet valves, Nissan exhaust valves and two Amal Mk1 concentric carbs. The gearbox and clutch are Norton Commando modified to run a single row primary chain allowing the fitment of electric start via a Harley Davidson ring gear. A large diameter outrigger bearing was fitted behind the clutch to prevent distortion of the gearbox main shaft. The front end comprises of early 41mm Rickman front forks and conical disc front hub with period AP Racing disc brake, the rear hub is a heavily modified Panther 600 alloy unit with a 9 inch brake plate.

It starts on the button but has had very little running time since completed and has not been run for some months. It will require a thorough check over before being used and may need further work before being used in anger. The Ariel is correctly registered as an Historic Vehicle and comes with a history file and a current V5C.

For more information, please contact:
Mike Davis
07718 584217


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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