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50 Years of the Norton Commando

Discussion in 'Classic Motorcycle Events' started by Holmeslice, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Friends - you are implored to come celebrate with us 50 Years of the (in)famous Norton Commando. A collaboration with @uniongaragenyc @belstaff and @nycnorton has come together to put on quite the shindig this coming Saturday, October 20th, 2018, at Union Garage’s spectacular space in Red Hook, Brooklyn from 12-6pm. We’ve managed to wrangle most of the iterations of the Commando model for display, as well as some specials and fancy race bikes. Bangers and Mash provided at lunch! How can you resist? Hope to see you all there!

    -Kenny

    (Illustration by Martin Squires)

    50 Years of the Commando 1.jpg 50 Years of the Commando 2.jpg 50 Years of the Commando 3.jpg
     
    speirmoor likes this.
  2. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Great poster.
    And, posted by a great poster.
     
  3. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Why, thank you. Too bad you are in Cali or you could backslide your way in
     
  4. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Good luck with the celebrations. I'd love to be there, but it's too long a haul from Anacortes for a 77 year-old. Our nearest large airports (Seattle-Tacoma and Vancouver BC) are both almost 100 miles away.

    Frank Damp
     
  5. illf8ed

    illf8ed

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Like Frank indicated, bring the show to the left coast and we'll join in. We did celebrate 50 years of the Commando in 2017 ('67 to '17) at the Quail show in Carmel, Ca. Nice venue there in NY.
     
  6. BritTwit

    BritTwit

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    A few photos from the 50 Years of the Commando VIP party last Friday evening at the Union Garage. I was able to snap a few photos of the Commandos on display which included the Croxford space frame racer, and Norton Production Racer, a Hi Rider, and several other types. The lighting was quite subdued so some of my shots are a bit too dark.


    Hosted on Fotki

    A beautiful Production racer

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    A magnificent Croxford space frame racer.

    [​IMG]



    Hosted on Fotki

    A quest’s Fastback

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    And the oldest Commando in the room – 1968 Commando. One of the original production machines.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    Kenny decided to position the ’68 Commando at the main entrance to the garage, to represent the beginning of the Commando line. Then put a 961 Commando butt to butt with it to represent the new Commando line.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki

    That 961 looks damn good sitting next to the ‘68, both silver, oh wait that 961, that’s mine.

    Chris Lesser from the Union Garage also had a great Belstaff video that included a history of Belstaff’s involvement with racing apparel. There was a video with Kenny that had a few interesting and funny anecdotes concerning Nortons and people who traditionally own them.

    It was a very enjoyable evening.
     
  7. speirmoor

    speirmoor VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    I was there also, great night Spoke to Kenny briefly, saw all the cool bikes. Videos were great. That was your 961? Asked Chris who the owner was but the he said you'd left already.
     
  8. BritTwit

    BritTwit

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Yeah, It was a lot of fun, and some interesting characters too.
    I met photographer Allan Tannenbaun who provided his '68 Fastback for the show.
    Kenny asked me a few weeks ago if I would be willing to provide my 961 for the show.
    I thought it would be a nice addition to add continuity to the whole Commando history.
     
  9. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    I assume the 1968 bike in the photos had the original gas tank changed out during the "no dimple" debacle.

    For those not familiar with it, the original design did not carry the "Norton" name anywhere. All the castings used on the earlier models that had "Norton" in the patterns had been re designed to remove it and the gas tank had no dimples for the traditional badge. The brand was supposed to be identified only by the "green blobs" on each side of the tank. A visitor to the stand at the Earl's Court show asked me whey the turn signals were green and positioned so far back! He didn't believe me when I said they were the new company logo.

    There was such a ruckus about it that N-V decided to re-instate the logo, but since the dimple had been removed from the tank tooling, there was nowhere to put it. As I recall, the first 100 or so bikes went out with decals, which caused another ruckus. I was based at the N-V experimental department at the Villiers factory in Wolverhampton, so I didn't get involved in the "dimple recovery" program done by the London factory.

    I think those "Blobbies" bikes all had the tanks replaced, but I'm not sure of the details. I also don't know when the cast components had the logo reinstated.
     
  10. BritTwit

    BritTwit

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Wow,
    That sounds like green blob confusion reigned at N-V during the Commando introduction.
    The NV Norton badges are a nice touch though.
    Thanks for the history lesson.:)