With a barn-found 1949 Vincent HRD 988cc White Shadow Series-C project bike selling for £163,900, which is more than $210,000 and nearly three times its high pre-sale estimated value, Bonhams motorcycle department enjoyed its Spring Stafford Sale on Sunday with a 90 percent sell-through rate and total sales of £2,132,257 (more than $2.73 million).
The sale was held in conjunction with the Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show. Prices reported include buyer’s fees.
The ’49 Vincent had not been ridden in more than 40 years, Bonhams reported.
“The highlight of the sale, the Vincent White Shadow, proves that barn-find machines remain as desirable as ever,” James Stensel, head of Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said in the post-sale news release.
“It has been another tremendous sale for Bonhams at Stafford,” he added. “It was fantastic to see British marques continuing to perform so well across the board, ranging from pre-war Brough Superiors to ’60s Manx racers.”
Among the highlight sales was a 1948 Velocette 348cc KTT MkVIII that Freddie Frith rode to the 1949 world championship. The bike, which also won the 1949 Isle of Man Junior TT, sold for £135,900 (more than $174,000).
“It was our first sale featuring a World Championship-winning machine,” Stensel said, “and we were thrilled to see it sell for such a high price.
“The percentage of lots sold reflects continued buyer confidence. Bidding was brisk throughout the sale, pushing values well beyond the pre-sale auction estimates.”
Among other highlights:
- A second Vincent, a 1951 HRD 998cc Rapide Series-C, sold for
£42,500 (nearly $55,000), nearly doubling its pre-sale estimate.
- A 1938 Velocette 349cc KSS Mark II, formerly part of the Frederick George Pewrris collection and sold in disassembled pieces as a project bike, brought £9,775 (more than $12,500) triple its pre-sale expectations.
- A still-in-the-crate 1998 MV Agusta 750cc F4 “Serie Oro” sold for
£36,800 (more than $47,000).
- British motorcycles did well at the sale. Among those topping pre-sale estimates were three Brough Superiors — a 1926 981cc SS80/100 selling for £126,940 (nearly $163,000), a 1930 OHV 680 Black Alpine going for £112,380 (more than $144,000) and a 1929 OHV 680 bringing £68,700 (more than $88,000).
The sale opened with parts and motorcycle memorabilia, including two sets of racing leathers. Those worn by Graeme Crosby at the 1983 6-Hour Castrole Australian Endurance Grand Prix sold for £2,750 (more than $3,500) and those worn by Mike Hailwood at the 1978 Bathurst Grand Prix went for £7,250 (nearly $9,300).
“Even after 30 years of Stafford sales, our auction continues to go from strength to strength,” added Malcolm Barber, co-chairman of Bonhams and the auctioneer for the Strafford sale.
“This year perfectly illustrated Bonhams continued dominance in the world of collector motorcycles, and with several single-owner collections and an enormous breadth of models on offer, it was pleasing to see such strong interest from bidders both at home and further afield.
“Being surrounded by like-minded enthusiasts at the show is always a pleasure, and we were delighted to bring the show to a close on such a high note.”