Collectors’ motorcycles and memorabilia for sale

Heading Bonhams’ customary eclectic mix of motorcycles consigned to the second of its annual collectors’ motorcycle sales at Stafford is a rare ex-works Vincent Rapide – ‘KAR 223′ – which was ridden by Arthur Merrett in the 1948 International Six Days Trial held at San Remo, Italy. Fully restored by the current owner in 2008, it was ridden by him to the event’s 60th anniversary celebrations late that same year. Estimate £50,000 – 60,000.

Representing another of this country’s most distinguished marques is the 1949/50 Velocette KTT MkVIII (engine number ‘1069′). Previously owned by the Swedish TT rider, Billy Andersson, ‘1069′ was fully restored in 1998 by its then owner, Per-Olof ‘Perra’ Widell, the former Husqvarna works racing mechanic. In 2004 ‘1069′ was purchased by the current owner and brought back to the UK from Sweden. Since an engine rebuild in 2006 the KTT has been raced only twice and is described as in race-ready condition. Estimate £28,000 – 38,000.

Brooklands motorcycles always attract keen interest from collectors and the 1930 Cotton-Blackburne is all the more desirable for belonging to the Vintage period. Built and raced by Francis Williams, it was nicknamed the ‘Village Fire Engine’ by Graham Walker in its Brooklands days and is featured in John Griffiths’ book ‘Historic Racing Motorcycles’. After Francis Williams’ death in the early 1960s, the Cotton-Blackburne was sold to another ex-Brooklands racer, A Leveson-Gower, who loaned it to the Stanford Hall Museum. The current owner bought the machine from Mr Leveson-Gower and rode it in Vintage race meetings during the late 1980s. Estimate £25,000 – 35,000.

Other noteworthy machines include a restored 1936 Norton International Model 30 (£14,000 – 18,000) a circa 1911 FN four-cylinder ‘barn find’ (£12,000 – 15,000) and a circa 1932 Matchless Silver Arrow offered for restoration (£4,000 – 6,000).

This sale represents a mouth-watering opportunity for memorabilia collectors, there being two outstanding collections on offer. Ted Macauley was a friend of the great Mike Hailwood as well as his biographer, and Ted’s collection contains some significant Hailwood-related pieces together with others from great Grand Prix riders including Kenny Roberts, Phil Read, Steve Baker, Rod Gould, Mick Grant, Roger Marshall and John Williams. Offered for sale by a prominent private collector, the Phil Read Collection includes several Grand Prix 1st place trophies from Phil’s World Championship-winning years as well as awards from a host of other international events including the Isle of Man TT.

Ben Walker, Head of the Motorcycles Department at Bonhams said: "It is always exciting to return to the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show. This October’s event promises to be another superb Bonhams Collectors’ motorcycle auction, with over 150 collectors’ motorcycles and some truly stunning, historic items of memorabilia on offer – offering something at a variety of price points for all types of enthusiast."

For more information please contact Francesca Tarrant at The Communication Group at ftarrant@thecommunicationgroup.co.uk/


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