Bonhams’ second annual sale of collectors’ motorcycles at our Midlands base in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, on 19th June held in conjunction with the VMCC’s Banbury Run was another resounding success achieving £458,442 and selling 87% by lot.
Brough Superior, the Rolls Royce of the motorcycle world, never fails to attract interest. The top lot, a 1929 Overhead 680 example, fetched £98,300 against a pre-sale estimate of £55,000-65,000.
Another keenly contested motorcycle was lot 140, a 1962 BSA 650cc Rocket Gold Star which had been in single family ownership since new. After lengthy bidding from several clients, the BSA finally sold for £15,525 (estimate £10,000-12,000).
Owned from new by Richard O’Brien, writer and star of the cult musical ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and presenter of television’s ‘The Crystal Maze’, the 2001 Honda CB50 Dream sold on behalf of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Manchester, and achieved £3,565 against a pre-sale estimate of £2,000 – £2,500.
Also popular were restoration projects such as a 1965 Honda 49cc ‘Monkey Bike’, untouched and in a garage for 20 years, which was estimated at £300-500. A fierce bidding war ensued and it finally went for £5,290. A ‘barn find’ c.1916 Sunbeam 3½hp also from single family ownership and offered for careful restoration and preservation, sold for £12,075 (estimate £4,000-6,000).
The Thruxton is one of the most sought after post-war Velocettes and lot 141, a 1966 Velocette 499cc Venom Thruxton, was a very fine example. It was two owners from new and on the day the original owner bought it back for £12,650.
The ex-Roy Peplow 1966 ISDT works Triumph Tiger 100 fetched £20,125 (estimate £10,000-15,000). A works rider for the Triumph factory, Roy Peplow was a member of Britain’s Trophy team in the 1966 International Six Days Trial, held that year in Sweden. Peplow won a Gold Medal, helping the British team to finish second overall behind East Germany.
Ben Walker, Head of Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycle Department, commented: “There is clearly a strong demand for historic machines with iron cast provenance as well as those motorcycles that remain in largely untouched and original condition.”
“A number of records were also set for the mid-range machines – a 1953 Ariel 998cc Square Four MkII sold for £12,075 for example. We’re now accepting entries for our forthcoming sales at The Beaulieu Autojumble and The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show so stay tuned for details of future exciting machines we’ll be offering!”