Founded in 1898, Ariel Motors of Birmingham, UK produced three-wheeler De Dion cars before beginning motor cycle production in 1902. Initially the company built conventional single cylinder and V-twin engined designs. In 1929, Ariel developed a distinctive and unusual four-cylinder engine in a square layout with a single overhead camshaft. The 'Square Four' was designed by Edward Turner and was nick-named the "Squariel" becoming a popular design which was developed from the original 497cc model in 1931 to 997cc of the Ariel Mk. 2. Square Four. The much-modified Square Four remained in production until 1958 making it one of the most successful four-cylinder designs of all time. Ariel merged with BSA in the early 1960s and the brand disappeared by 1970 as Japanese motorcycles dominated the market. In Melbourne, the first agency for Ariel was held by Con McRae but was then held by Milledge Bros. from 1927 to 1948. After this Ariel agent was Brylaw motors.

This unrestored Mk.1 model was built in about 1950 and features a 65 mm (bore) x 75 mm (stroke) air-cooled four -cylinder engine with push-rod actuated overhead valves producing 34.5 b.h.p (25.7 kW). The Museum purchased this example 1983 in unrestored condition.

More Information