High 10 Sellers from Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale


The traditional motorbike public sale scene is booming, and Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale by no means fails to carry its share of headline-grabbing bikes with requisite hammer costs. April 21 concluded the 2024 occasion, and when the mud settled, 95% of the 365 heaps have been bought, for a complete of £3 million [$3,743,865].

We’ve compiled the highest 10 sellers from the sale right here, together with a number of iconic Brits and road-racing Hondas, seven of which introduced six figures—or near it anyway.

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide Motorcycle
1938 Vincent-HRD Rapide Sequence-A

Considered one of simply 79 constructed, the Sequence-A Rapide carried Vincent’s first V-twin engine and provided staggering efficiency proper out of the gate. Capable of finest the Brough-Superior SS100’s high pace at 110 mph, the Rapide shortly established Vincent as one of many quickest bikes of the day. There are quicker and extra iconic Vincents, but it surely’s protected to say the Sequence-A Rapide put Vincent on the map.

Phillip Vincent bought the financially troubled HRD model in 1928, and shortly after, he and engineer Philip Irving designed the 499 cc OHV Meteor engine used within the Comet and Meteor fashions. Irving shortly realized the Meteor high ends might be mixed on a single crankcase, leading to a 47-degree V-twin displacing 998 cc, and important prices have been saved by utilizing the prevailing Meteor tooling.

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide Motorcycle Engine
The engine was fed by two Amal carburetors, and dry-sump lubrication was routed with varied exterior pipes and hoses, resulting in the Sequence-A’s nickname—plumbers nightmare. It produced 45 hp at 5,500 rpm, and was compact sufficient to make the most of a lot of Vincent’s current single-cylinder working gear, notably the Comet’s divorced Burman four-speed, which proved to be the bike’s weak hyperlink all too typically.

Regardless of its progressive cantilever rear suspension and blistering high pace, Vincent received over few consumers with the Rapide when it debuted in 1936. ‘Ginger’ Wooden smashed lap information at Donington Park and set a standing quarter-mile time of 11.75 seconds on the Gatwick dash in 1938, however nonetheless, solely 79 bikes have been bought earlier than Vincent’s Stevenage manufacturing unit was retooled for arms in 1939.

1938 Vincent Series-A Rapide Motorcycle
The next years would promote Vincent to icon standing, and as such, this numbers-matching Sequence-A Rapide was predicted to be Bonham’s greatest attraction of the sale. With a complete restoration in accomplished in 2017, each a part of the bike was restored with right NOS gadgets or refurbished originals, with just a few copy elements used. Lot 365 fell simply wanting Bonham’s pre-auction estimate, and some others to have bought within the final decade, and adjusted fingers for £228,850 [$285,667].

1949 Vincent Black Lightning
1949 Vincent Black Lightning Sequence-C

With a high pace of 125 mph, Vincent had the quickest factor on wheels within the late ’40s with the Black Shadow, however nonetheless, the mighty 50-degree V-twin had extra to offer. Constructing on the Shadow’s strengths, Vincent unleashed a stripped-down model with extra compression, higher internals and light-weight aluminum and magnesium elements. Aptly named the Black Lightning, simply 34 have been constructed.

1949 Vincent Black Lightning
With its racy origins and such slim manufacturing figures, the Vincent Black Lightning was instantly poised as an investment-caliber machine, solely accessible for racers with the deepest pockets. Quickly after, Rollie Free physique surfed his Black Lightning in his naked britches in 1948 to a 150-mph file at Bonneville, changing into one of the iconic moments in motorbike historical past, and solidifying the Lightning’s historic standing.

Lot 364 is a 1949 Sequence-C Black Shadow that was one in every of two specifically geared up for sidecar racing and despatched to Poland. The duo of Vincents had an illustrious racing profession within the Jap Block and remained there till the Seventies, after they have been found and despatched again to the U.Ok. Restored across the 12 months 2000, this Vincent Black Shadow requires some recommissioning earlier than use, however nonetheless crossed the block for a staggering £149,500 [$186,130].

1924 Brough Superior SS80
1924 Brough-Superior SS80

The SS80 was one in every of George Brough’s earliest successes after establishing Brough-Superior in 1919, with manufacturing beginning in 1922 and ending with the outbreak of WWII in 1939. Timeless attraction, aggressive efficiency and Brough’s exhaustive manufacturing requirements just about assure any Brough motorbike a center-stage presence at public sale.

1924 Brough-Superior SS80
Registered underneath AU 9945 and match with the side-valve, 980 cc J.A.P. engine, this early SS80 was bought by a pal and believer in Brough named Sam Ratcliffe. Whereas Ratcliffe competed typically in trials occasions of the early Twenties, his new SS80 was used as transportation for his rising household and would stay with the Ratcliffes for years. The bike ultimately modified fingers and was restored within the Nineties, however was reunited with the Ratcliffes when Sam’s son and grandson bought the bike in 2001.

Having been lately displayed on the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, AU 9945 is alleged to be in wonderful situation and was ridden as lately as August 2015. The third finest vendor of the occasion, Lot 376 landed proper in the course of Bonhams’ pre-auction estimate, promoting for £97,750 [$121,832].

Whitelock 4.2-liter 48-cylinder Kawasaki two-stroke
2003 Whitelock Tinker Toy

Whether or not you think about it an oddity or a mechanical marvel, Simon Whitelock’s 4,200 cc Kawasaki two-stroke is undoubtedly a testomony to hair-brained gearhead science. Born from an ever-increasing dependancy to multi-cylinder Kawasakis, Whitelock’s newest construct captured the Guinness World Report for essentially the most quantity of cylinders in an engine for a land automobile at 48, and one of many high hammer costs at Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale.

Nicknamed ‘Tinker Toy’ after a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber from WWII, Whitlock’s creation is constructed from six banks of eight cylinders every. All of the engine elements are from Kawasaki KH250 donors, which Whitlock selected as a result of elements have been plentiful and low-cost.

Whitelock 4.2-liter 48-cylinder Kawasaki two-stroke
The engine block is totally customized, as are the gasoline and ignition programs, whereas the gearbox was taken from a BMW K100. Customized-built, heavy-duty wheels and a Goldwing entrance finish have been added to help the bike’s 1,300-pound heft, and a separate 125 cc pony motor is used to fireplace the mighty 48-cylinder two-stroke. Regardless of being a bit impractical, the bike satisfies all authorized necessities in England, the place it holds a full license.

Whitelock’s Tinker Toy crossed the block as Lot 444, smashing Bonhams’ pre-auction estimate by a wholesome margin at £92,000 [$114,627].

1935 Brough-Superior 11/50
1935 Brough-Superior 11/50

This Brough-Superior wouldn’t have been essentially the most welcome sight in your rearview mirror again when it was new, and it’s not simply due to Brough’s repute for quick bikes. Considered one of six an identical bikes bought new by the Nottingham Metropolis Police, this Brough 11/50 was registered underneath BAU 4 and noticed energetic police obligation with a sidecar in a previous life.

1935 Brough-Superior 11/50
Brough developed the 11/50 mannequin within the early Thirties as a sexy choice for legislation enforcement businesses who wanted highly effective and dependable machines. Though the 11/50 was made to order, most options have been taken from the SS (Tremendous Sports activities) fashions, albeit with a 1,100 cc side-valve JAP with conservative compression.

Loved over time, BAU 4 is properly documented again to the Fifties and was restored to its former glory in 2008. Supplied with a Brough petrol-tube sidecar chassis and a 1961 Watsonian Avon sports activities sidecar, Lot 380 bought to a excessive bid of £78,200 [$97,422].

1974 MV Agusta 750S
1974 MV Agusta 750S

A breathtakingly trendy machine in its day, the MV Agusta 750S was a return to kind for MV. Whereas the corporate had made a reputation for itself in efficiency and racing circles, altering instances shifted MV’s focus to touring bikes just like the Agusta 600, and gross sales flopped.

MV’s antidote to the failed 600 wasn’t a ground-up effort, however as a substitute, a drastic visible transformation with extra displacement, extra sporting controls and ergonomics—and most significantly—an beautiful exhaust system.

1974 MV Agusta 750S
The powertrain was constructed to race-spec in true MV style, even when its output wasn’t staggering for the day, with six most important bearings, 4 24 mm Dell’Orto carburetors and 9.5:1 compression. The colourful paint scheme was equal elements eye-catching and traditional and was positive to seize consideration wherever it went.

MV would produce simply 583 whole machines throughout the 750 line, and Bonhams websites that simply 186 have been constructed to the spec of Lot 414—it being a 1974 mannequin with the brand new Scarab disc brakes, 26 mm carburetors, increased compression and improved induction.

Restored in 1991 and introduced in nice working, close to concours, situation, this ’74 MV 750S bought for (a becoming) £74,750 [$93,363].

1987 Honda RS500
1987 Honda RS500

Paging by Honda’s Grand Prix historical past of the Eighties, one could miss the historical past of the NS500 altogether—it being sandwiched between the progressive however unsuccessful NR500 and the exalted NSR500. The NS500 was Honda’s backup plan after the oval-piston, four-stroke NR500 flopped, and this reed-valve triple existed when the opposite producers have been touting extra highly effective four-cylinders.

Famous for its superior maneuverability and cornering pace, the featherweight Honda would have its time within the limelight, successful the 1983 500 cc World Championship and the 1983 Macau Grand Prix. 1983 was the NS500’s swan track although, being changed by the NSR for the ’84 season, and leaving the reed-valve triple to the privateers with the RS500—which was practically an identical to the crew machines aside from the exhaust.

Lot 391 is a 1987 RS500 campaigned in interval by Fabbio Biliotti, and was bought with Biliotti’s Group Servisco competitors bodywork for £73,600 [$91,993].

1951 Vincent Series-C Black Shadow
1951 Vincent Sequence-C Black Shadow

Some of the revered marques in motorcycling, black-clad Vincent made roughly 11,000 bikes from 1932 to 1955, with the Black Shadow being undeniably essentially the most iconic. It’s not exhausting to see why, because the Shadow was merely the quickest factor on wheels in these days, and its 125 mph high pace left even the highest-end automobiles within the mud.

1951 Vincent Black Shadow
Vincent had arguably perfected their V-twin platform by the point the Sequence-C bikes got here into manufacturing in 1948. The 998 cc engines had increased compression than the Rapide, an improved four-speed transmission employed unit building and the Brampton forks have been changed with Girdraulic blade-type girders. Even with its tiny 7-inch drum brakes, Sequence-C Vincents have been thought of the usual for efficiency and dealing with of their day.

Because the Black Shadow was so successful for Vincent, they made a complete lot extra of them, simply over 1,700 by the very best estimates, and costs are all around the map. Sequence-C bikes have introduced over $150,000, and fewer than $50,000 in recent times, and Bonhams’ Lot 367 landed someplace within the center at £46,575 [$58,222].

1963 Honda CR110
1963 Honda CR110

50 cc, eight ahead gears and eight.5 hp at 13,500 rpm; 4 figures that let you know practically every little thing it is advisable to know concerning the Honda CR110. Constructed for privateers as an over-the-counter model of Honda’s small-displacement Grand Prix works machines, the CR110 served as a dependable mount for a lot of up-and-coming professionals.

Honda was making up for misplaced time in highway racing within the early Nineteen Sixties, and the RC110 manufacturing unit race machines appeared like simply the factor to increase success to the 50 cc class. The bikes have been mild at simply 130 kilos moist and dealt with like a dream, however one small subject was missed—horsepower. Significantly underpowered in comparison with the competing two-strokes, the manufacturing unit crew solely managed just a few podium finishes, and the trouble would go down as Honda’s worst humiliation of the early ’60s.

1963 Honda CR110
Oddly sufficient, the CR110 privateer machine loved extra success, with roughly 220 bikes bought. They have been constructed to just about the identical spec because the works bikes, however with a extra wise eight-speed transmission as a substitute of the racer’s 9 and a discount of three,500 rpm at peak energy.

Nearly nothing is understood about Lot 232’s adolescence, but it surely’s since been with the identical caretaker since 1994. The impeccable situation of the bike introduced a hammer worth of £46,000 [$57,569], proving large issues do are available small packages.

1963 Honda CR93
1963 Honda CR93

Just like the CR110, the CR93 was part of Honda’s push for road-racing excellence within the early Nineteen Sixties, and outcomes proved rather more favorable within the 125 cc class. Honda got here ready to the Isle of Man in ’59, and their dependable 125s took 4 of the highest 11 positions and secured the 125cc Class Producers Cup. In 1961, they’d sweep the highest 5.

The 125 cc CR93 mannequin prolonged Honda’s small-displacement choices to privateers, and just like the CR110, the 93 was constructed to just about the identical spec because the works machines. The four-stroke twin employed gear-driven overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder and made 16.5 hp at 12,000 rpm. Between 1962 and ’63, it’s estimated that Honda constructed 150 to 200 CR93s.

1963 Honda CR93
Lot 223 seems to be a wonderful instance of the marque, carrying a full fairing and wonderful paintwork. After a interval of inactivity, Bonhams states that the engine turns, however the transmission won’t go into gear. When the hammer fell, the CR93 introduced a bit lower than its 50 cc brother at £43,700 [$54,533].

Supply: Bonhams

1963 Honda CR93


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