1931 Ariel Square Four for Sale – £SOLD

Filed under: Classic Bikes Sold |

1931 Ariel Square Four for Sale, An Ultra Rare 500cc 4F OHC Classic Bike Orig No: Pre War

Unrestored / runs like a watch, Worlds First Superbike


1931 Ariel Square Four For Sale (8)1931 Ariel Square Four for Sale, ULTRA ULTRA RARE 1931 Ariel Square Four 500cc overhead cam model. This machine comes with a current V5C and is on its original number which is transferable. I imagine it is worth something, but I am not an expert. WO was issued to the Monmouthshire area in 1931. The bike is tax and MOT exempt at this age. This bike has been in the ownership of one family from new and is only on its third keeper. The bike is basically un-restored and runs like a watch, All original fittings, and everything works at it should. It has clearly had a new exhaust system though at some point. The engine numbers started at 101….this is engine number 220….so effectively the 119th ever built. Is this therefore the oldest unrestored square on Earth ? has anyone got an older one out there in original condition ????? If so….I would love to hear about it. The factory records have been checked and the engine and frame numbers correspond.

This was one of five built in March 1931 and this one was despatched to Bowens Garage LTD in Monmouthsire. You will note that this machine carries the original dealers brass plates on both front and rear mudguards indicating again that these are the correct originals as fitted to the machine. I can say that I have ridden the machine today around a large car park for several minutes and it performed well. This is not the same as a proper road test, but tells me that the clutch, gears, brakes etc all seem to be working alright. It is charging strongly, and revs freely. Even the original brass map light works. Wheels and rims look authentic. This is a four speed hand change model.

Ariel 4F 500cc Square Four
Very Rare
Year 1931
Registration number: WO 5409
Vin/Chassis/Frame No. 341
Engine No. 220
Gearbox No. 4191
Customer J Elson & Co, Beaufort, Monmouthshire.
Tab: 8054
Magneto Lucas
Carb Amal
Model 4F
Remarks: Magdyno
Date: 10th March 1931
Original old Buff Logbook
Latest DVLA V5c Logbook
Vintage Motor Cycle Club Certificate
Original Owners Handbook ( in great condition )
Also original book of the Ariel motorcycle ( With oily finger prints ) : )
Old Period Tax disc fitted to bike.

1931 Ariel Square Four 500cc Model 4F engine design by Edward Turner.

Edward Turner (January 23rd, 1901 – April 15, 1973) was a famous British motorcycle designer. He was born in Camberwell in the London Borough of Southwark, London, on the day King Edward VII was proclaimed King.

Following a rather basic schooling he joined the Merchant Navy as a radio operator, aged 14. By the 1920s he had left the sea, and was running a motorcycle shop in South London where he showed the first signs of what would be a distinguished career by designing and building his own “Turner Special”. In 1927 he joined the Ariel Company where he was part of the team that developed the famous Ariel Square Four, and by 1932 had become Ariel’s chief designer.

Rare 500cc model not 600cc or 1000cc.

The 7th picture shows the engine designer Edward Turner with the 1931 4F 500cc

Turner had shown the design to several motorcycle manufacturers (including BSA) seeking a buyer for the innovative design but only Jack Sangster at Ariel was interested enough to offer the young engineer a job. At its public unveiling at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in late-1930 the 1931 Ariel Square-Four 4F caused a huge sensation, even over the new Matchless Silver Hawk narrow-angle v-four OHC.

So….this is a rare opportunity to buy one of the worlds first super bikes. Possibly the oldest unrestored Square left on Earth. Note, this is the engine where the crankcases spilt horizontally, like the Japanese bikes do, what a pity they did not continue with this type of design. Oil is held in the engine in the same way and when I look at this machine…it truly is years ahead of its time.

All that said…..this is looking for that rare collector / rider who will appreciate what this actually is. The question of restoring it or not will be up to you. I would love to see this out at shows and actually being used. If you buy this….you are pretty much guaranteed not to meet another as authentic as this. I would look at taking early machines in exchange….but am happy with a straight sale. No credit cards or Paypal on a deal like this, cheque, bank transfer, bankers draft, switch card or £££££….all good. Viewing is vary much advised. Please call and ask for Frank on 020 8997 2421 or 07973 11 12 13 for an appointment. Email: fjk222@hotmail.com

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By Tim Pearson

We are keen buyers and sellers of most Classic Japanese motorcycles, Sports Bikes, Classic Bikes, Custom Bikes, Absolutely Anything. We have a constantly changing stock of Classic motorcycles for Sale and we operate a very good delivery and pickup service. Number ONE for Classic Bikes for Sale and Classic Bikes Wanted | Motorcycles Unlimited