Thursday, 28 February 2013

Some motorcycle treats at Bonhams Stafford Sale in April

On Sunday April 28th Bonhams will open the doors to their famous Stafford sale and, as usual they have some interesting and unusual motorcycle gems up for grabs so break open that piggy bank if you want a Vincent or a Brough to zoom around on this summer.

Here's a little preview of what they have for sale this Spring...


Some of the motorcycle delights in store at the Stafford Sale...


Vincent Black Shadow


A Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle, which formed part of a bid by the factory to set a new 24-hour speed record in 1952, is among the one million pounds worth of lots already consigned for the annual Bonhams sale at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford, UK, on Sunday 28th April.

Vincent Black Shadow -photo by Double Red
It has an interesting history as well. In May 1952 in Montlhery in France, this Vincent attempted the 24-hour speed record, but mechanical failures prevented the bid from being successful.  Despite this, the British team returned home with eight new records, including six hours at over 100mph.
The fully-restored, ex-works, matching-numbers machine has been owned by the current vendor for more than 40 years and is offered with a pre-sale estimate of £110,000 to £130,000.

A trio of Broughs


Among other machines consigned to the Bonhams sale of Pioneer, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia are a trio of Brough motorcycles – two from a single owner collection.

1931 SS80


1931 Brough SS80

One is a 1931 SS80 that started life as a sidecar outfit with Ipswich Police.  It was subsequently converted to solo trim and raffled off to raise money for the Brough Superior Club. Tickets for the 1972 raffle were sold for five pence each, or fifty pence for a book of ten, and second and third prizes respectively were ten and five gallons of oil. The lucky winner sold the machine to a club member who raced it for several years, before it passed to its current owner in 2004. It and is now expected to fetch upwards of £50,000 - wish I'd bought that raffle ticket!


1926 SS80/100


1926 Brough SS80/100
A 1926 SS80/100 model estimated to realise between £160,000 and £200,000 is a rare factory variant, combining an SS100 frame with the SS80 sidevalve engine. Only a handful of these unusual machines were made, of which very few survive. Re-engined post-World War II with an overhead-valve SS100 unit, it won the ‘Re-build of the Year’ award at the Brough Superior Club’s Annual Rally in 2012.

1921 Brough Model G


The Brough family is also represented by the 1921 Brough Model G. This rare motorcycle was manufactured by George Brough’s father William, whose company was in existence from 1902 to 1925. Offered for restoration, it is estimated to realise between £20,000 and £30,000.

1957 Ariel Square Four 4G Mk2

Other British motorcycles of note which will be gracing the sale with their presence include a rare factory-restored 1957 Ariel Square Four 4G Mk2 (estimate £12,000 - £14,000). Britain’s major motorcycle manufacturers did not routinely offer a restoration service to their customers, preferring to delegate such tasks to local agents. This machine’s late owner John Hay, deputy news editor of The Financial Times, bought it in 1962 and succeeded in persuading the factory to restore it for him, despite the fact that the ‘Squariel’ had been out of production for three years. The machine remained with him until his death, passing to the current owner in 2011.

Other notable British motorcycles...

The sale will also feature:
  • The earliest known Velocette Viper – a 1955 model that originally formed part of the factory’s press fleet  (expected to fetch £8,000-12,000)
  • A restored 1949 Vincent Rapide – one of an estimated 107 touring models shipped to the US finished in ‘Chinese Red’ (expected to fetch £50,000 - £70,000)
  • A 1988 Norton Classic rotary – number ‘51’ of the 100 built which has covered only 1,500 miles from new (expected to fetch £8,000 - £10,000)
  • A 1961 BSA DBD34 Gold Star Scrambler with only eleven miles recorded since restoration (expected to fetch £9,000 - £11,000)

Collectable foreign Classics...

Collectable foreign classics on offer include:
  •  A 1972 Laverda 750SFC production racer (expected to fetch £30,000 - £34,000)
  • A c.1979 Yamaha TZ750 Formula 750 racing motorcycle (expected to fetch £30,000 - £34,000)
  • A 1982 Yamaha TZ500J Grand Prix racing motorcycle (expected to fetch £32,000 - £36,000), 
  • A unique 2001 MV Agusta 952cc F4 factory prototype that competed in that year’s World Endurance Championship (expected to fetch £20,000 - £26,000).

A collection of early motorcycles...  


No Bonhams spring Stafford sale would be complete without a fine selection of early motorcycles, and the sale this year will feature:

  •  A 1914 Excelsior Model 7C v-twin (expected to fetch £35,000 - £45,000 

  •  A 1913 Rex v-twin (expected to fetch £18,000 - £22,000)

  •  A 1905 Peugeot v-twin (expected to fetch £18,000 - £22,000)

  •  A 1924 Rudge 4-valve/4-speed model (expected to fetch £6,000 - £8,000).

 Ben Walker, Head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said:

“We are very much looking forward to the first UK sale of the year at the International Classic MotorCycle Show. It has been an excellent start to 2013 for the department, which recorded its most successful sale in Las Vegas in January and more than doubled its previous sale total in Paris earlier this month.
We hope to continue this run of success at the first of our two annual sales in Stafford. We are delighted to be able to offer such a wide and eclectic range of important motorcycles at what has traditionally been a very successful sale.”
So don't worry it's not too late - if you have an old Brough, Vincent or Laverda lying about in your shed which you want to sell then consignments for the auction are still being accepted.

 Call +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 or email


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