1948 Velocette to Highlight Bonhams Stafford SaleThe ex-Freddie Frith, World Championship-winning 1948 Velocette 348cc KTT MkVIII Works Special Racing motorcycle will highlight the Spring Stafford Sale at the Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show April 23.Besides the Velocette, other motorcycles from the Bonhams Motorcycle Department sale will include a rare Velocette barn find, crated 90’s superbike, and racing suits, such as the Graeme “Croz” Crosby leathers with Apple Computers sponsor logo.
The 1948 Velocette, which won the World Championship and the Isle of Man TT, was raced by Frith in 1949 to win the 350cc class of the FIM World Championship in the competition’s debut year. The bike is expected to sell for $147,000 to $184,000.Bonhams says “as is often the case with racing machines, the works Velocettes were dismantled and sold on, but thankfully the engine and frame from the ex-Frith 350 were reunited and rebuilt using genuine works parts. With its purposeful appearance, it is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful racing motorcycles ever made, and is offered ready to either race or parade.”Another highlight is a 1949 Vincent 998cc White Shadow Series C Project, which is expected to bring in $61,000 to $73,000. This barn find was only one in 15 made, making it one of the rarest post-war Vincents around.Bonhams says “At a time when the average family saloon was barely capable of reaching 70mph, the Vincent Black Shadow was capable of tearing along at 120mph, faster than any production vehicle of the time. Unmatched by any other vehicle on the road, the Black Shadow was fast and furious. As Vincent enthusiasts will know, not every Shadow-specification machine left the factory with the distinctive black-finished engine casings, the few that did not being known as ‘White Shadows.“Last ridden in 1976, this machine was put in to storage in a family shed and promptly forgotten. Upon its recent rediscovery by the family, it was mistaken for the slightly more common (although still highly desirable) Black Shadow.Also available is a crated 1998 MV Agusta 750cc F4 Serie Oro, number 8 of 300 made, which is expected to sell for $34,000 to $44,000. This was the first F4 Oro to be sold to the public; the others were sold to MV Agusta executives and royalty.Bonhams says “Designed by Ducati 916 creator Massimo Tamburini and introduced at the 1998 Milan Show, the F4 has become part of MV legend. In a publicity masterstroke, the factory announced that production would commence with a limited edition of 300 very special F4s: the ‘Serie Oro’ (Gold Series). The price was set at around double that of the standard F4 Strada, yet every single one had been sold prior to delivery, such was the demand. That stratospheric price tag was explained by the exotic materials employed in further reducing weight.”Other highlights include a 1960 Ducati 250GP Racing Motorcycle ($98,000 to $123,000) formerly owned by Mike Hailwood and John Surtees. Hailwood is known as the comeback king of the motorcycle racing world. After a seven-year hiatus from top-level racing, he took on and beat the Honda works team to win the Formula 1 TT at a record speed.Hailwood’s 1978 Bathrust Grand Prix leathers will also be included in the sale ($3,700 to $4,900).Offering more history, Bonhams says “Prior to Mike’s comeback in the 1978 TT, he participated in a few warm-up races in Australia having emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1976. Local star Jim Scaysbrook organised a Yamaha TZ750 for Mike to ride, courtesy of the Milledge Brothers, the Yamaha distributors in Victoria, with sponsorship from Walker Radial (‘Team Avon Tyres’).“It was Walker Radial that commissioned Mike’s leathers to be made by Harold Johnson in Sydney, hence the ‘Leathers by Johno’ patch on them. In the wet race, Mike finished a respectable 9th. Following his successful return to the Isle of Man, Mike raced for the vendor again in 1979, wearing the same leathers, at the Adelaide three-hour race on Jim’s Scaysbrook’s Honda CB900.”Alongside Hailwood’s leathers will also be Graeme “Croz” Crosby racing suit ($1,200 to $1,800) emblazoned with the Apple Computer logo (the vendor was the biggest retailer of Apple in Australia at the time) and believed to be the only occasion Apple had sponsored a motorcycle team, their only other motor racing sponsorship being that of a Porsche at Le Mans and Spa.For additional information, visit Bonhams.