In '71, I got out of the Army overseas. A few months before leaving the Army, I bought a new Norton 750 Commando, the sexiest motorcycle on the planet at that time. It cost me $1,500 new in Darmstadt, Germany. I rode that thing all over Europe for one-year with $1,500 in my pocket. I made friends in every country, most people would allow me to pitch a tent in their yard, or, sleep in their homes, barns, wherever. They just couldn’t believe a lone American fresh out of the Army would take his time learning their culture.
I sold that bike to a friend of mine still in the Army. He only had $900, and I took it, hopped a MAC flight back to the USA, and spent that Summer partying like a rock star in Richmond, VA as a civilian who didn’t fit in with old friends who never served and who went through college.
Letting that bike go for $900 is still one of the biggest regrets of my life. But I needed some cash for my return to “the real world.” That bike would be worth big $$$ today if it was in the mint condition I kept it in for that one year.
So it gladdens my heart to see Norton is coming back:
Loop Net Headline: Motorcycle Marque Norton Revs Up for Renewal Under New Roof
All-Encompassing Facility Kickstarts 124-Year-Old British Brand’s Rebirth
TVS had brought Norton out of administration in April 2020 after its previous owner, Stuart Garner, pleaded guilty to defrauding the firm, which he had controlled since 2008.
“Norton has an extraordinary history,” Lipscombe said. “It engenders incredible loyalty in the ‘family’ of people who are connected to the brand — they will stick with it through thick and thin. But in the preceding 10 years, it had been mostly thin.”
With TVS committed to “gather up the pieces of the company and its heritage,” it invested 100 million pounds (approximately $120 million) into all aspects of the company, including this new facility in Solihull, a historic green belt adorning Norton’s birthplace of Birmingham.