Bonhams Pioneer, Vintage
& Classic Motorcycle Auctions

Bonhams Motorcycle Department

May 2010 - £1.6Million at Stafford for Bonhams

With 266 machines offered, Bonhams auction at The International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford on 25th April achieved and 85% sell-through rate amounting to a premium-inclusive total of £1.6 million.
Highlights of the sale included a 1935 AJS 500cc Model 10 selling for £16,675 – almost double the top estimate – while the technologically eccentric and extremely rare 1921 Wooler 2¾hp Model B – known as the 'Flying Banana' on account of its fuel tank's shape and colour – sold to The Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum for an above-estimate £14,950.

Less uncommon but considerably more useable, the 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 v-twin on offer turned in the sale's best result. A restored, 'matching numbers' example that had been in its late owner's possession for 40 years, the machine had been test run occasionally but not licensed for the road since 1959. The Brough sold to a UK private collector for £157,700 against a top estimate of £130,000. An older British v-twin - the 1913 Zenith-JAP 6hp forming part of the Basil Keys Collection - achieved the best result among the Veterans, selling for £20,125, bang on top estimate.

A strong Velocette representation at the sale saw no fewer than 17 of the Hall Green marque's machines on offer. Top seller among the Velos was the 1967 Venom Thruxton 500cc Production Racing Motorcycle that incorporated the engine from Neil Kelly's TT-winning machine, which sold for £21,850, while the above-estimate £10,350 fetched by the 1947 350cc KSS MkII, roughly double what it would have made five years ago, confirmed the increasing demand for good examples of Velocette's charismatic 'cammy' roadsters.

The sale's other top-performing production racers both came from Italy: the 1938 Moto Guzzi 500cc GTC/L Condor fetching an above-estimate £41,100 while the 1974 Laverda 750SFC sailed past its £20,000 top estimate, finding a new home in the UK for £27,025.
All in all a great event for Bonhams and with many people viewing the sale as a market indicator, the results really do go to show that the vintage and classic motorcycle market is still robust, while other markets seem to have suffered in recent times as a result of the wider Global picture.

For further information regarding the sale at Stafford in April – go

© 2010

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