1939 Ariel Square Four
by Matt Townsend
picture when sold 1987-88
My father and a couple of his friends had a few Ariels brought over from England to the U.S. in the mid to late 60's. He chose the older one of the bunch, his friends all wanted the newer postwar models. He eventually restored it over the next few years, took it to shows and rode the heck out of it. After a time it sat in the garage, while family duties came first. When I was about 10 years old he put the Ariel up for sale to have a more family oriented project, a (29 model A). The bike eventually sold and it was long gone for 20 plus years..Fast forward 22 years, I get the itch to find the bike if at all possible. After looking for a couple of years, talking to the ariel club with not much luck I pretty much put it out of my mind. Then last year, doing a random internet search on "39 ariel square four" I found a link to some pics at a bike show in Orange County, and there in the back of a truck was my Dads Ariel. I knew it was his, it looked untouched since the day my Dad sold it. After some more searching on the shows web page I found a name and the Moderator gave my information to the current owner and he contacted me within a day. I met up with the current owner and he let me take a look at the Ariel for the first time in 24 years. He had told me he acquired the bike from his friend, which was the guy my Dad sold it to. He told me he had owned it for about 6 years, and planned on restoring it soon and never bothered to even start it up in all the years he has owned it. After meeting me and seeing all the old photos of the bike in its hayday, he gave me the opportunity to buy the bike back if it i was interested..I answered ABSOLUTELY! within a second..He held the bike for me for a whole year until I came up with the funds to buy the bike back.. I finally ended up bringing the bike home right after the first of the year..My mother still couldn't really believe that I found my Pops bike and it was back at home in the family. It took me a day of tinkering, and it finally fired up. It sounded exactly the way I remembered it as a 12 year old kid..Thats my story thanks for listening!
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