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Dunstall Commando?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by norwood, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. norwood


    Jan 8, 2019
    Hi I just bought a 1971 Norton that been in a barn for 40 years. It needs a ton of work but I got it running, I was told the original owner went to Great Briton bought the bike drove it around then shipped it to the states. It has Craven luggage set up, it has RAC badges and the original English tag. It has Dunstall stickers on the side covers with 850 commando decals. The engine # 20m3S/150143 barrel # 24257 everything matches I'm just wondering if the owner went to Dunstall for work or its just bull?
  2. N0rt0nelectr@

    N0rt0nelectr@ VIP MEMBER

    Sep 15, 2014
    Pictures please.

    John in Texas
  3. dynodave


    May 28, 2003
    You may never know ..not that it matters much

    Factory records can sometimes tell if the bike was sold TO Dunstall dealership. My 68 atlas is documented as sold to Dunstall, extensively hot rodded, then sold to the original buyer, an American serviceman. It was finally exported to Colorado USA then moved to the Boston area. It was held by 3 more owners and I knew each one of them. Then I finally bought it in 1992. That is how I got my Norton Atlas. http://atlanticgreen.com/dunstall.htm

    The story explained to me several times, goes like this:
    Dunstall marque is 1967 (only). IAW Inland Revenue
    Then the British racing sanction body authorized 1967 "Dunstall" as a "marque" which raced their bikes as "stock" pissing off the stock factory entries. The sanctioning body(only) extended recognition for one more year 68. The year of my (not really) Dunstall Atlas.
    Since then it would seem all buyers/sellers of "Dunstall" brand commando bikes.... are just a fraud. They are NORTON sold by and/or modified by Dunstall dealership OR just owners bolting on hot rod Dunstall parts onto their NORTON. I did this to my first new 70 commando "roadster".
    It is a fine distinction but:
    So I now laugh at all the "dunstall" commandos being sold that never really existed except in their mind, reaching for YOUR wallet. LOL
  4. 850commando


    Nov 1, 2014
    it was just another way for the dealers to sell overpriced nicknacks"Dunstall" to stary eyed riders thinking it would make us faster or cooler.... yeah i bought my share. :rolleyes:
  5. illf8ed


    Dec 30, 2003
    If it it doesn’t have Dunstall parts in it you’re probably better off.
    bill likes this.
  6. bill


    Jun 1, 2003

  7. norwood


    Jan 8, 2019
    Thanks, I didn't think it was anything near a Dunstall.
  8. dynodave


    May 28, 2003
    barrel # 24257 is just the casting # for all 750 atlas+commando
    Craven bags set up I'm jealous- good score.
    The dunstall stuff is just for fun and ergonomics easy clip-ons and rear sets were popular at the time and OK .
    As you can see the hard core ricky racers stuff understandably had it's detractors...
    Even my "dunstall" Atlas is not hot rod = very disappointing compared to my combat...However the Dunstall R3 cam was his race cam but almost identical to a combat cam. It's shown on my website.
  9. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    I think you will find the number is 24237 (the 750 barrel casting number).
    dynodave likes this.
  10. disquek


    Oct 5, 2015

    I and other Dunstall Commando owners have letters from Dunstall documenting the bikes, their sale as Dunstalls, and, in my case, it's titled as a Dunstall. I've known this bike since it was new and it was always a "Dunstall". So I think your assessment is not 100% accurate.

  11. Robert_Norton


    Dec 21, 2008
    The Dunstall organization published catalogs with complete bikes for sale. In at least one catalog, the Norton model/bike offered was listed as a "Dunstall Norton 850."

    Previously posted photos of frames with VIN plates stamped with "Dunstall" have been made available here on accessnorton.com.

    Magazine reviews of motorcycles built by Dunstall appeared in widely distributed industry publications of the day.

  12. dynodave


    May 28, 2003
    1. "Manufactured by Norton VIllers Limited" is what is shown on the VIN plate. The rest is added with the handy dandy stamp set.

    2. Similarly a Shelby mustang core is made by Ford. I doubt I would accept a regular mustang reworked as "Shelby" for 1/4 million$.

    3. A "manufacturer" has the legal obligation (don't they?) to provide a (certificate of origin) which will be accepted by the US Fed as a manufactured vehicle.
    I have copies of my COO of both my NEW Ducati vehicles and a few other vehicles that I put on the road. You must turn in the original COO to get a title the first time it is sold and titled/registered.

    4. A state issued title here in the USA is notoriously not credible. Especially the older stuff. Examples of creative titleing are are so numerous it's almost humerous. Yes, it's now on the road, but to me gives very little credibility in state government titling as proving anything except you paid your taxes.

    5. A norton commando was sold out of Michigan or Minnesota into Mass. Totally bizarre number as VIN on paperwork. It was sold and retitled twice with same number. Upon being sold a third time is was looked at by the buyer and surprise...the titled vin was not even similar to anything we would recognize as "norton".

    To me, the sale of the modified Norton by Dunstall is worth exactly that....1. Sold by Dunstall 2. If appropriate, hot rodded by Dunstall.

    While I always hav been interested in Dunstall stuff, I have also tried to research the ins and outs of what makes a legit Dunstall.

    A long time ago bought a 71 commando that had the full "kit". Dual discs(yes chromed), clipons, rear sets, 1/4 fairing, Borranis, early big tank, seat/tail section( green gel coat/no paint), high compression barrels + cam, 2-1-2 side winder exhaust with mufflers and early type long aluminum hanger. IMO it doesn't make it a "dunstall" manufactured brand. The original 71 did not have a Dunstall stamped Norton VIN plate. I sold it with fastback body work as a Norton.
    I still have the whole kit and I will be reassembling everything into a donor 71 I have acquired. I feel it would be just another fraud to say it "IS" a Dunstall. Maybe I should "Dunstall UK " stamp my Norton Villers VIN plate?(not)

    I will accept not everyone has the same acceptance of what is authentic as to "Dunstall" legally or just spiritually...
    Possibly the UK Inland Revenue declaration/acceptance of "Dunstall" as a marque is meaningless except for political maneuvering for racing purposes. I'd still be curious to see a copy of a certificate of origin for import to the USA.
    I certainly am not the judge and jury.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 6:23 AM
  13. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    Wrong government department I think (or not applicable to UK vehicle registrations) but there wouldn't have been anything to prevent someone registering a vehicle in the UK as a 'Dunstall' or 'Dunstall Norton' at that time as far as I can remember.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 8:27 AM
  14. 850commando


    Nov 1, 2014
    my comment is a generalization based on the fact that most dunstall parts in western Canada were sold by dealers as go faster parts. I accept that Dunstall may have built and stamped bikes in the 60's as Dunstall, but i've never seen one and they must be ultra rare. from what i've read, ill happily stay with my 850 kit.
  15. jimbo

    jimbo VIP MEMBER

    Sep 25, 2004
    QUOTE;I had two Dunstalls, a 1968 and a 1971 810 Sleeper. I was the second owner of each, and got the original titles and ordering and purchase paperwork when with the bikes. Both were imported into the U.S. by the original owners, bought from Paul Dunstall. Each title was for a Norton motorcycle – no mention of Dunstall. The ’68 had Dunstall stickers on the gas tank and the ’71 had ‘Dunstall 810’ stickers on the side covers, but there were no Dunstall ID plates or tags. The frames were stamped same as a production Norton, the ’68 was serial number 127900, engine number 20M3127900 and the ’71 was serial number 147980, engine number 20M3S147890. The ’68 had the points behind the cylinders – not cam driven, and it also had the early non-reinforced frame. These were both complete original Dunstall bikes as built by Dunstall. Sold them several years ago.

    wot, May 17, 2015

    I bought these from WOT, they had Dunstall pedigree paperwork.

  16. dynodave


    May 28, 2003
    I was told that the inland revenue may have been your "companies register" or whatever, that you establish a "manufacturing company" with the government. Just like the norton motorcycle story about them going out of business a week ago! ???
    It has nothing to do with your vehicle registration for the road.
    Here in the US , it is the Federal Department of Transportation who authorizes to domestically manufacture or import vehicles into the country, yet each "state" is who you pay road tax to and surrender your federal Certificate of Origin from the federally authorized manufacturer.
    It is documented many times, even if it is not true...I wasn't there...Dunstall was a "manufacturer" in England for 1 year. 1967.
    To bad the Woodgate dunstall site is gone. My bike was entered on his register.
  17. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    I think Companies House would have come under the Board of Trade during the 60s, it then became the Dept. for Trade and Industry (DTI), which became the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and is now the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.


  18. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Feb 10, 2009
    “Beige” as we call them.

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