Bonhams Stafford Motorcycle Sale Highlights

The “Important, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycle” sale, held this past weekend by Bonhams at the Staffordshire Country Showground, featured a handful of big-money bikes that rolled across the block. The stunning top sale went to a 1934 Brough Superior SS100 that sold for $394,000.

The two motorcycles we featured, the 1953 Ferrari 150cc Super Sport and the 1928 Windhoff 764cc Four, did not sell. It seems we are back to our old ways of being able to pick out the motorcycles that won’t meet reserve. Other insane sales included a 1939 Vincent-HRD Series A Rapide that brough $366,000.

The Ferrari that we featured might not have sold, but a different “Ferrari” bike did. This particular motorcycle is a one-off, 500cc model built by David Kay Engineering with full blessing of Piero Ferrari, Enzo’s son. It sold for $139,000.

There were about 150 other motorcycle sold at this sale, including a few more $100,000+ Vincents. For complete results, check out Bonhams’ website.

Bonhams’ Shepton Mallet Motorcycle Highlights

Bonhams recent (okay it was the 18th of February) motorcycle sale in Shepton Mallet, England featured a number of affordable bikes – a majority of all sales were of the sub-$7,000 type. The top sale was this 1932 Brough Superior Black Alpine 680:

It’s a good bet that when a Brough Superior shows up in an auction catalog that it will be the top seller of the sale. This time that was certainly true, selling for about $100,500 – more than double the price of second-highest seller. This is a time-capsule version that has never been restored and is not running. And the second-highest selling bike was a 1955 Vincent Rapide Series D for about $43,000.

The 1938 Ariel Square Four that we featured last month sold for a couple dollars under $19,000, which, I think, makes it the first motorcycle featured on this site to actually sell.

There were a ton of scooter or scooter-type… things (there was a Honda trike that looked like a toy) selling at this auction. Our picks for the coolest bikes sold were a pair of green ones. First, this 1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly:

It brought about $5,800 (I say “about” because the auction was in GBP and I have to do my own currency conversion). I just like the way it looks. Same with this 1978 Benelli 125 Turismo. There isn’t anything spectacular about it. I guess it’s because the paint is so nice.

Anyway, I wish I would’ve been there to buy it for its $1,082 selling price. For complete results, click here.

Bonhams’ Vegas Motorcycle Sale Highlights

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show on The History Channel called American Pickers, but every once in a while they come across an old Harley-Davidson or Indian that is basically a pile of rusty parts held together by some invisible force. Then they’ll offer the owner of said motorcycle (sometimes sans motor) a bundle of cash. Sometimes as much as $10,000. It seems insane. Then you see this:

That’s a 1915 Indian 61ci Board-track Racing Motorcycle. In original condition – pulled from a barn or a basement somewhere. It’s a first-year model of the 61ci Big-Twin. It sold for $67,860. Which is quite a sum for something you can’t really ride. And there were at least a dozen unrestored barn-find motorcycles that brought more than $10,000. I don’t find it absurd that people are buying them – I understand wanting something rare and original and wonderful. What I don’t understand is where are people finding these? How many treasures are still out there to be found? It’s fascinating.

Here’s my other favorite barn-find:

It’s another Indian, specifically a 1906 Indian Camelback. Everything is there and supposedly it was ridden as recently as the 1970s, although it doesn’t look it. More interestingly, it was the personal bike of Paul du Pont of the famous du Pont family and founder of Du Pont Motors and, later on, owner of Indian motorcycles. This brought $72,540.

Other highlights included these two Vincents:

The first is a 1953 Vincent Black Shadow Series C. If you’re going to buy a classic motorcycle and money is no object, I recommend a Black Shadow. The second is a 1955 Black Prince that has appeared at auction after auction waiting for the right person to come along and finally bid over that reserve price. It finally happened. The Vincents brought $122,500 – each.

There was also this beautiful 1928 Henderson De Luxe Four:

This beautiful blue bike could’ve been yours for $70,200. Finally, we have two interesting motorcycles that are both “feet-forward.” And they were built almost 100 years apart. The first is the 1921 Ner-a-Car, of which a fair number were built. You just don’t see them that often anymore.

It sold for $9,360 and was stated as having been restored at the Indian factory in the 1940s although it is currently missing its exhaust. The other interesting motorcycles is this:

It’s a 2002 Gurney Alligator. I remember reading about this when it was first built. It looks really strange and it’s feet-forward design lends itself more toward a luge feeling than riding a motorcycle. Only 36 were built and they’re pretty quick with 70 horsepower and a top speed of about 140 mph. It sold for $15,210 – slightly more than your average cheap new motorcycle – but this will start conversations much more easily.

Although the Coventry-Eagle we featured a few weeks ago did not sell, some of these results show that there is real passion alive in the collector motorcycle hobby. For complete results, click here.