One of the most storied motorcycles in Grand Prix road racing history is coming up for sale at the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale. An AJS E90 Porcupine raced and owned by Ted Frend will be up for grabs on July 2 at the Staffordshire County Showground.
1949 was the first year of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix series, now known as MotoGP. Frend’s teammate Leslie Graham won the inaugural premier 500cc title on an AJS E90, taking victories at the Swiss and Ulster GPs. AJS won the 1949 Constructors’ World Championship over main competitors Gilera and Norton.
The E90 is the only twin-cylinder-powered motorcycle to win the Grand Prix series. The E95 succeeded the E90 and continued GP racing until 1954. During that time, just four Porcupines were produced by the factory race team.
After Frend died in 2006, his motorcycle-related property was acquired by Ken Senior, a friend and neighbor who also happened to collect motorcycles. Senior returned the E90 to its former glory, using original and custom parts. The AJS E90 Porcupine is part of Senior’s collection of 400 motorcycles—90 of them will be sold at the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale.
Due to the historical significance and rarity of the AJS E90 Porcupine, it is expected to sell for at least a quarter-million British pounds sterling.
“We have only seen two other examples offered for sale publicly, both of which Bonhams sold for world record prices at the time,” notes Ben Walker, International Department Director, Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles. “With the few known examples being in the world-famous Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, or in the possession of private collectors, this is an extremely exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity to buy a much-coveted and sought-after machine.”
If you don’t have a £250,000 auction budget, Frend’s racing trophies will also be available at the Summer Stafford Sale. Frend was the first rider to win a race on the AJC E90 Porcupine when he beat all comers in the 1947 Hutchison 100, and he had a 4th place finish at the Isle Of Man TT that same year.
To register to bid at the Bonhams Summer Stafford Sale, send the storied British auction house an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.