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A Christmas post - the V8 turkey


Another V8 doomed almost from the off, and another doomed attempt to revive the Norton name. What did James Lansdowne “Pa” Norton do to deserve this? Launched at a swanky bash at London’s Dorchester Hotel in April 1998, designer Al Melling claimed the 1479cc V8 would hit 235bhp and 200mph. In fact it proved incapable of lasting more than a few miles when tested by MCN in 1999. What were Norton’s American backers thinking? The only attempt to link it the Norton’s heritage was Pa Norton’s famous logo. Norton had no connection to V8s, the only V motor in their history really being the Peugeot built V-twin that won at the TT. When questioned about this Melling – who once boasted of having no interest in the bikes or cars that used his engines – came back with “In ten years all the big manufacturers will have V8s”. How wrong can you be?



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