1937 Ariel Red Hunter - Model NH - 350cc

Marque Ariel
Model Red Hunter NH1
Year 1937
cc 350
Engine 4st single ohv
Starting Kick
Gears 4 (foot)
Top speed ?

A previous owner
from many years ago

Wiring Diagram

Engine Timings

Factory Record


1937 Ariel Catalogue Scan



Pre restoration shots. The Ariel was restored by Fred J Wells in the late 1990s.

Road Test

This Ariel is very original and 'correct'. This machine was last taxed in the 1950s and probably spent most of the war and post war rationing days seeing little action. The result is a machine that feels quite new. Everything is nice and tight with no rattling and the exhaust note is very quiet. It was restored in the late 1990s and had done only a handful of miles before I got it.

Ariels from this period usually came with twin pipes (NH2) but proper sports riders ordered them with single pipes (NH1) because they weighed less and went just as well. This one is a 'single pipe' has an 'H' stamped between the pushrod tubes which I think meant that it was supplied with a high compression piston.

The brakes are both ok and the riding position is fairly comfortable although the pegs do seem high and the saddle low (your knees can almost keep your ears warm). The engine is a willing revver, and is just as happy to thrash flat out as it it to gently potter. There is one one exhaust port which was an option in 1937. The piston is a high compression competition piston.  The clutch is perfect which I have come to expect from Ariels. The behaviour is very good which makes this an 'all round' performer which I'd not hesitate to ride in a variety of conditions.

I've been riding this Ariel for a few years now and the more I ride it the more I like it. Apart from a magneto failure it has not let me down and is a real pleasure to ride in the countryside. The steering is very responsive and is perfect for 'green laning'.

The VMCC Scrumpi Run took place a few years ago  in torrential conditions with lanes turning into streams with rocks and mud flowing along their course. As we approached our lunch stop at the top of Countisbury the road took us into the clouds and my goggles were steamed up, water was running down my back and my boots were full of water, but the Ariel really looks after the rider as it feeds back information and has a very reassuring sense of balance.

This must be one of the sweetest and most original Red Hunters in existence.

There is also a road test in Real Classic magazine (September 2007).