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Dunstall Motorcycles
How Do I Tell If I Have A Real Dunstall?


How Do You Tell If It Is Real?

The difference between a genuine Dunstall factory built machine, and a standard machine that has been fitted with every Dunstall part available can be very small, but to some people it can be very important. These notes have been written as an attempt to provide some guidance on this difficult topic.

Machines Built Pre 1966

Before 1966, when Dunstall became officially recognised as a manufacturer in his own right, it is difficult, but not impossible to prove that Paul Dunstall built your bike. The best evidence of all is if you have the original log book and it shows Paul Dunstall as the first registered owner. Without the log book, you will have to check the factory records to see if the machine was shipped to the Dunstall shop in Eltham. Luckily, the Norton factory records are very comprehensive around this period.

Other indicators are things like sale receipts, invoices or any other documentation you might have. Without this, then it is difficult to prove that you have a Dunstall built machine.

Machines Built After 1966

After 1966, your log book should refer to the machine as a Dunstall if it was built at the Dunstall factory. It is still worth checking the Norton factory records to confirm when the machine was shipped to the Dunstall factory. Even if your log book calls it a Norton, still check the Norton records as it is not unknown for the details to be wrong on the log book.

These comments only really apply to Norton based machines built in the U.K. If you are investigating a Norton based machine in another country then you may be reliant on the local vehicle registration documents to record the make correctly. Some machines were imported direct from the Dunstall shop and so would show as such in the U.K. records. Unfortuantely, before complete machines were exported to dealers, machines were built from kits supplied by the Dunstall organisation and fitted to existing machines.

For some of the major less common makes such as B.S.A, Yamaha, etc., then the job is a lot harder as the machines would have been sourced from another dealer. The original factory (B.S.A., etc) would not show any link to Paul Dunstall. You will have to rely on supporting documentation to prove the Dunstall link.

If the engine and frame numbers do not match, then it is still a Dunstall if the records, or your log book, show the frame being dispatched to Paul Dunstall. Having a Dunstall built engine in a factory built frame is unlikely, but not impossible.

Additional Problems For B.S.A Based Machines

According to the records held by The B.S.A Owners' Club, it is not possible to confirm that a particular machine was shipped to Paul Dunstall as the machines were not 'Factory Specials' and so do not appear in the factory records as going to him. It is likely that the machines used were sourced from another dealer. Dunstall B.S.A. based machines seem to be very rare. The Owners' club would love to hear from you if you have such a machine. If you do, maybe we can work out which dealer supplied Paul Dunstall with B.S.A machines and so may be able to estimate the total number of Dunstall B.S.A machines built.

Many thanks to Brian and Chris Pollitt of the B.S.A Owners' Club for all their hard work in searching the Factory Records for me

Useful Contacts

www.woodgate.org/dunstall/real.html / Webmaster / Revised 24th February 2000