Sidecar Flip

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I went to Norton, USA's website yesterday and there has been no activity on it since late 2006. They are obviously paying the host to keep thye website up but has anyone heard anything about Dreer, Murdoch or the company. I did hear they ended the lease on the Gladstone, Oregon property and laid off employees in lieu of not securing the 10 milloin dollar production start up monies. It's too bad. The new Norton is a sharp bike, most certainly one that I'd really like to own. Maybe Dreer packed up and moved back to Philadelphia? Anyone know?
 

TxRIIIRider

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That Norton was a very nice bike for sure. I read a while ago, just after Cycle World wrote a great write up on the new Norton, that they had closed shop. It's ashamed too, seemed to be a great running bike. Definitely looked the part! The web site is probably still up because they paid for how every many months of hosting service in advance.
 

Sidecar Flip

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I came very close to putting a deposit on the Signature model. Kenny took deposits on the first 1000 bikes and I had the form laying on the desk, all I had to do was enclose a check but something told me to adopt a 'wait and see' attitude even though I wouldn't get a limited edition Signature bike.

From what I can ascertain, all 1000 bikes have deposits pending, supposedly the monies are in an escrow account. That's a little over 1 million dollars presuming that everyone put the minimum $1000.00 deposit down. That's not chump change.

In today's market I can't see the bike ever coming to production and that is sad. It's a beautifully engineered and executed motorcycle. I've also been following the Chris-Craft-Indian resurrection that I believe isn't going to come to fruition either but then then Indian and the Norton are light years apart other than the capital to begin production aspect.
 

3ngin33r1

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I've also been following the Chris-Craft-Indian resurrection that I believe isn't going to come to fruition either

I dunno, in the past Chris Craft has gone out on some weird tangents like Chris-Craft/United TV...

I love my old Chris, wouldn't trade it for the world. but it did almost sink a few weeks ago...
 

Sidecar Flip

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Marcus:

Lets see. '59. That makes it a lapstrake hull and not a snot boat I presume?

My mom had a Chris steel hull Roamer. Nice boat but hard to keep the center seam from leaking. She graduated up to a Bertram with twin Cats in the engine room. I liked the Chris better than the Bertram anyway. The Bertram 53 took 3 people to handle it and you needed a full bank account to take it out.

I'm wondering about the Indian. They have put off the intro a few times now.
 

Pig9r

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I know we complain a lot about Triumph, but after seeing several of these failed rebirths I have to give credit to Bloor, it is quite an accomplishment.
 

Sidecar Flip

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I know we complain a lot about Triumph, but after seeing several of these failed rebirths I have to give credit to Bloor, it is quite an accomplishment.

I agree with that 100%. Takes a lot of everything including excellent business sense to bring about a re-birth like Bloor did. Least we have a bike to complain about (little nit picky things). Look at the Indian owners. They can't even get parts for their bikes. I feel for Kenny Dreer. He went from his basement refurbishing and rebuilding old Nortons almost to the pinnacle of production of a new bike and lost. How devistating both financially and personally.

I'd imagine the major difference between Bloor and Dreer is Bloor is and was always capitalized through his other business ventures whereas Dreer was never capitalized and was always searching for the elusive bankroll (and it takes a BIG bankroll). I can't figure out the Chris Craft/Indian thing. That is well bankrolled by the parent/holding company but there seems to be hesitation on their part in bringing the bike back. Maybe it's the result of their marketing surveys, I'm not sure.
 

Jamie

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We are all so wise in hindsight...

If there had been a campaign to support Breer/Norton (NOT to just bail it out, i.e. to merely foot overdue utility and supplier bills) I'd have considered contributing a few tens of thousands of US$ as a private (irrational;)) investor.

A pet project, kind of. But, to my knowledge, or chagrin, there has been to such campaign. Breer/Norton just folded from one day to the other, just like hundreds of "sorry we're closed" small business casualties in today's America.

Jamie:cool:
 

3ngin33r1

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Marcus:

Lets see. '59. That makes it a lapstrake hull and not a snot boat I presume?

40 feet of double plank Philippine mahogany, teak decks, twin Ford 427s, 2 state rooms, galley, 2 heads, shower and a lifetime of maintenance.

It was a rescue effort, I wasn't really looking for a boat but I saw this thing on craigslist one day and went down to look at her.

She had just sat for 6 years. At least she was in the water so I didn't have to worry about seam gap or anything but one motor was seized, her interior had to be gutted, the decks have to be redone. It'll be a lot of work over the next few years but I just can't let a classic like her sit there and rot. Hell, if it doesn't work out, just one of the motors is worth more than I paid for the whole boat.
 
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