Motorcycle auction may have helped save historic church

Vincents dominate sale, but 1930 Norton sold for a cause

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motorcycles
1930 Norton sells to help community save historic church | H&H Classics photos

A quartet of vintage Vincents led the way as H&H Classics motorcycle auction posted £900,000 ($1.122 million) in sales with a 67 percent sell-through rate this week. 

“Given the context – a global pandemic – this is a remarkable result which speaks so clearly of the passion collectors have for motorcycles,” Mark Bryan, head of H&N motorcycle sales, was quoted in a news release. “People were buying bikes they had not seen and without knowing precisely when they could take delivery.”

1955 Vincent Black Shadow Series C tops the auction

The top sales — all Vincents — involved a 1955 Black Shadow Series C that sold for £47,150 ($58,805), a 1954 Rapide Series C that went for £36,800 ($45,895), a 1947 Rapide Series B for £34,500 ($43,025).

While Vincents topped the sales chart, the No. 5 vehicle in price was a 1930 Norton CS1 that sold for £27,600 ($34,420) with that entire amount earmarked to help with the purchase of the Old URC Church in Stokesub-Hamdon, Somerset. The church was built by a distant relation of the bike’s former owner, former RAF pilot Bill Southcobe.

The community is trying to save the church.

“It’s a Congregational Church built by my ancestor, Richard Southcombe, for the community in 1866,” Bill Southcobe said. “It is in very good condition and was given to the URC Synod in 2016 by the elders. If we are to save it we must pay the Synod this year,” and thus the fund-raising effort.

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The church has become something of a community center, hosting a variety of events and projects.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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