Acknowledged Norton tuning expert Ray Petty, no known relationship to the Petty’s of Level Cross, NC, turned his attention to building a 500 Formula 3 car in late 1955.
The Petty Norton featured a space frame chassis and suspension with rocker arm actuated inboard coil springs and shock absorbers at the front and de Dion rear with a transverse leaf spring.
Powered by one of Ray’s tuned 497 cc / 30.3 cui Norton Motors Alan Cowley led on the cars debut at the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting, until he spun into retirement.
Alan continued driving the Petty Norton through 1956, with Ray Petty taking over for the Brighton Speed Trials and Freddie Campbell for the Commander Yorke 100 mile race at Silverstone in September 1956.
The Petty Norton is not known to have competed in 1957, though why remains a mystery since when Jeremy Menzies took over the wheel in 1958 he recorded at least three “Junior” wins at Brands Hatch and a respectable 4th in the Commander Yorke 100 run in August 1958.
Dave Lecoq driving the unique Petty Nroton won the Earl of March Trophy at Goodwood in 2005.
Seen at the wheel at Oulton Park in 2013 and Castle Combe two weeks ago is present owner Nigel Challis.
Thanks for joining me on this “Advanced Suspension” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l pscho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1936 ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !