995cc “Squariel”

1938 Ariel 995cc Model 4G “Square Four”

Offered by Bonhams, Shepton Mallet, U.K., February 18, 2012

The Ariel Square Four was a four-cylinder motorcycle introduced in 1930 as a 500cc motorcycle. In 1937 the model was updated to the “4G” with a 955cc OHV engine. It’s a powerful 1930s motorcycle with similar displacement to a 1960s-era Mini (which weighed a lot more). This isn’t a Vincent and doesn’t pretend to be but, on the plus side, it’s way more affordable.

Ariel was absorbed by BSA in 1944 and continued production until 1970. But their heyday was the 1930s when models like the Square Four and Red Hunter were serious bikes.

This particular bike was acquired in 1947 by the most recent owner (who is deceased). It also comes with a sidecar, but from the pictures it would appear that the sidecar needs some serious work. This one hasn’t been ridden in 40 years and hasn’t been started in 10. It is in original condition – and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a restoration project and for the estimate of $11,000-$16,000, it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other restoration projects that we’ve seen at auction recently. Then again, it’s priced higher than many of the running bikes in this sale, which makes me feel better about talking this up as a desirable model.

For the complete catalog description, click here.

Update: Sold $19,000.