Ariel Square Four special

Ray Steer was at the VMCC West Kent Section Boxing Day gathering with his American Police spec 1949-50 Ariel Square Four

The purchase of an incomplete basket case offered the possibility of creating a replica. It became a long-term project as work commitments took up Ray’s time. Eventually, he enrolled for a local motorcycle restoration course, as a spur to committing at least a couple of hours a week on the project. The college enabled him to complete some tricky bits of engineering. The Ariel was finally back on the road in 2011.

The original purchase deal, the subject of the photo, had been put together by former racer and local dealer, Ed Kretz, who persuaded the Monterey Park authorities to place an order for the two Square Fours. These proved to be a popular choice, out-performing the Harley-Davidson 45s that were standard issue for the rest of the force. However, Ariel’s sway was brief. Politics intervened, the Square Fours were sold off and the force, once more, was 100 per cent Harley. What happened to the original bikes is unknown.

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