A unique opportunity exists for a Norton fan to acquire a brand spanking new 1977 Norton Commando 850 Interstate – still in its manufacturer’s packing crate - at the H&H Classics auction on November 14th at the National Motorcycle Museum. The bike is estimated to sell for £20,000 to £30,000.
The bike was shipped from England to Belgium in 1977 and remained untouched and was then sent to Holland and then it went to Spain – three owners in 43 years – but not one of them could bear to unpack the beauty. They were simply happy to admire the bike and imagine its potential.
Mark Bryan, Head of Motorcycles at H&H Classics, says: ““Every now and again one of these remarkable things appear ain the collecting world. This particular instance is quite amazing. How on earth has everybody over 43 years managed to restrain themselves and not un-crate this bike?”
When unpacked this is what the Norton will look like
Now this brand new 43-year-old motorbike has been consigned by Kevin Maddocks who has loved Norton’s all his life. He says: “It was in the mid 60's that my 'love affair' with Norton began. I'd owned plenty of bikes including Matchless, AJS, BSA, Vellocette, Royal Enfield, Triumph, but the one bike that took my breath away was the Norton 750 Atlas.”
“The Atlas, in beautiful red with lots of chrome swept me off my feet and after several years of saving on apprenticeship money, I forked out very willingly. At last, she was mine and boy did we have some fun! She was fast, reliable, stood out at bike meets and a pleasure to ride. We went all over England and Europe.”
“I have since owned many bikes and currently ride a 2014 Norton 961 Cafe Racer and the New Triumph Rocket 3. Although the latter is probably the most powerful bike in the world, I still get so much more pleasure riding my Norton. It has so much character and class and always draws a big crowd; she makes me very proud!”
“Imagine how excited I was when I recently heard of a 1977 Norton Commando 850 Interstate that was still in its original packing case - 43 years old and still 'brand new'. I just had to buy it and I tracked down the owner in Spain. The Spanish collector, who owned 98 bikes, had bought it 10 years earlier at an auction in Belgium, after the owner of a Belgian motorbike shop passed away. Apparently he had kept it in his store room, in its original packing case, for about 35 years and for some strange reason refused to sell it to anyone!”
“Since owning her I have never really touched her - she would look even better if I could give it a spring clean but to do it properly, I'd have to remove her from the packing case. Everything is there; three sets of keys, manufacturer’s advice sheets for the dealer, owners manual, service book, plus even a small spray can of Norton chain lube! (Possibly the only one in existence?)”
“My intention was to display her this year at many of the big bike shows and lend her to museums from time to time. Covid-19 stopped me doing that this year and I have since decided to move to Spain permanently. Therefore, I cannot do any of this properly from Spain so I reluctantly have to sell. I hope she ends up in a good home and the lucky custodian keeps her another 43 years!”