top of page

Celestial Express: 1939 Cotton-JAP 500cc Special

Digging this thing found on Bonhams website. Guide price £6000 - 9000. This is what they say...

Gloucester-based Cotton established its reputation with a string of racing successes in the 1920s thanks to an innovative frame patented by Frank Willoughby Cotton. Cotton's design featured four straight tubes running from the steering head to the rear wheel spindle, augmented by straight stays supporting the gearbox and engine. The result was a stiff, lightweight chassis vastly superior to the bicycle-derived frame used by the majority of manufacturers. Cotton relied on proprietary engines, but such was the advantage conferred by its frame that the Cotton had little trouble seeing off similarly powered rivals. We are advised that this machine's previous owner was Les Martin of Douglas, Isle of Man, a regular TT competitor from 1933 to 1949 whose best result was 4th place in the 1939 Lightweight race riding an Excelsior. The machine was described as 'restored' when purchased in 1985, since when it has been stored and used only for a solitary Vintage run in which it performed faultlessly. Noteworthy features include a Wal Phillips fuel injector, 'sports' camshaft, and 'The Celestrial Express' script to the fuel tank. Last run in March 2019, the machine is offered with an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1969) and assorted photocopies of Cotton-related literature. Prospective purchasers should check this machine's registration status with the DVLA prior to bidding.

bottom of page