Are you interested in
the very early Nortons? Then this is the book for you.
Even if you aren't (much), like me, I am pretty certain you will still find this,
bar some lamentable lows, a
Dr George Cohen is a flat tank Norton nut. Over the years he has
amassed a lot of very early Norton material, including handwritten
notes by James Lansdowne Norton, that will, I am
certain, make every bibliophile Norton fan delirious.
This said, and even though I absolutely recommend the book and
compliment the author on most of his work, some parts of it, mostly
involving a certain G.Cohen, are not quite honest. Dr Cohen must
know the real story behind the so-called "1907 Rem Fowler
TT-Winner". It is well documented this is a 100% forgery, built
from various components in the 1960s for some Norton publicity stunt. Rem Fowler
declined politely to confirm this was his TT
bike. This is easy enough to spot, looking at the bike and the
famous 1907 Rem Fowler photos. Lets just say the 1907 frame was
lost and replaced with a later type, the 1907 TT-winning engine and
other parts could not be located, so were substituted by similar
bits, Rem Fowler was replaced by George Cohen, and what you have is
the genuine 1907 TT winner c/w rider................?
Unfortunately, Dr Cohen became
involved with the replica after the NMM fire, restoring it, and
since claims this well-documented fake is the real article.
of the remaining text is further hero-worshipping, to a good part of
"Pa" Norton (acceptable), and of some characters involved
in the racing and record breaking attempts of the early years.
Unfortunately, scant attention is paid to the economic and
production side of the Company which, I am sure, was more
interesting for most readers than what obscure record was broken at
what venue, when, and by what porg ("person of restricted
growth", as in Tom Sharpe's "Ancestral Vices" and the left
hand side of page 131 in Cohen's book).
So take Dr Cohens war stories with a pinch of salt, and enjoy the book for its commendable, labour-of-love
collection of Norton memorabilia.