The Norton Featherbed frame may have been one of the most common starting points for cafe racers ever produced, Triumph engines so often took the place of the factory power plant, you could be forgiven if you thought Triton was another factory down the street, but a Norton Esquire? I’ve never seen one, in fact, I don’t recall ever hearing of it before.
The Esquire was evidently the result of placing the Ariel Square Four engine into the Featherbed frame. How common was this transplant? I don’t know, the seller of this example said three were built in California the year this one was made, it’s a 1959 frame with a 1956 engine. Were these unique to California or were these more common in the UK? Perhaps some knowledgeable Brit bike builder would know, but I don’t. Nice looking bike, though.
This auction has ended but you can check out the Norton Motorcycles on eBay for more interesting examples.