With 88% of lots sold, there was plenty to get revved up about at Bonhams’ Sale of Pioneer, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycles at The International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford on Sunday April 26th.
Beyond the sheer quantity of the 385 lots sold, there were some significant prices achieved. Top price was fetched by a 1957 Gilera 500cc Four-Cylinder Racer Re-creation, possessing modern Manx Grand Prix history, at an impressive £76,300. Other significant successes included a 1934 Brough Superior 11-50 ‘barn find’, last taxed for the road in 1955, which made £30,475 and a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow Series C, laid up by its third owner in 1970 and unused since, which smashed its upper estimate by £17,000, selling to a UK collector for £47,000. Both of these results emphasised the continuing strong demand for totally original and unmolested machines, ripe for restoration.
Ben Walker, Head of Bonhams’ Motorcycle Department said: "I’m thrilled with the result of this sale. It shows that the motorcycle market is more than holding its own and demonstrates that collectors’ enthusiasm and confidence remain strong. We have shown that traditional, live auctions handled by experienced and knowledgeable enthusiasts in tune with market trends can attract an international audience even in times of financial uncertainty."
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America and in August 2003, Goodmans, a leading Australian fine art and antiques auctioneer with salerooms in Sydney, joined the Bonhams Group of Companies. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further seven throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 50 specialist areas.