Scrapyard Saved Vincent HRD Rapide Sells for $420K
1939 Vincent HRD Series A Rapide

The 2015 Bonhams Spring Stafford Motorcycle Sale held April 26was a record success; 86 percent of the lots sold brought in over $3.3 million (£2,262,109).

The most-expensive motorcycle sold? One that was saved from the scrapyard – a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide, which sold for over $420,000 (£275,900). The story of the 1939 Vincent is truly unique. The bike was rescued before heading to the scrapyard. The original purchase cost? A mere £10 and an Amal TT carburetor.

Also helping the record sales were all 12 motorcycles consigned by Top Gear duo James May and Richard Hammond; the collective amount of the sale was over $118,000 (£77,625). As the two joked with auctioneer Malcolm Barber, 100-percent of the lot was sold. The most expensive bike sold was Hammond’s 2010 Norton Commando 961SE, which went for over $23,000 (£15,180).

Scrapyard Saved Vincent HRD Rapide Sells for $420K
Richard Hammond on his Vincent Black Shadow (not part of the auction).

Not surprisingly, British motorcycles were the most popular at the Stafford sale, with 90 percent of the top 10 lots featuring Vincent, Brough and Coventry machinery. Some examples include a 1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp that sold for more than three times top estimate, a total £147,100; a 1930 Brough Superior OHV 680 Black Alpine that sold for £138,140; and a 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series-D that sold for £72,060

“Our annual Spring Stafford Sale far surpassed all previous years, totaling £2.2 million – we’re delighted with the results,” said Ben Walker, International Director of Bonhams Motorcycle department.

“We’ve seen some fantastic prices, with new precedent being set. The level of enthusiasm at Stafford is always brilliant – with people travelling from across the globe to attend – with those that couldn’t bidding from the comfort of their homes via the telephone or our online bidding platform.”

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer of the sale, said: “Today’s sale attracted international bidding, celebrity consignments, and saw the motorcycle market buoyant at this annual season opener, the Stafford show. We saw many new collectors entering the market with strong bidding from English collectors and continentals alike. We witnessed investment bidding, but the market as usual is supported by enthusiasts.”