HomeThe MarketBritish motorcycle museum adds 50 bikes to Bonhams’ UK auction

British motorcycle museum adds 50 bikes to Bonhams’ UK auction

The historic collection includes a 1936 Brough Superior SS100 with the earliest production engine


More than 50 British motorcycles and four motorcycle-related cars from the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, England, will star at Bonhams Winter Sale, set for December 11 and 12 at the RAF Bomber Station hangar at Bicester Heritage in Bicester, UK.

Nearly 300 bikes in all, mainly British and Italian, will be offered during the annual auction, which was postponed one week from its original date because of Covid-19 issues. The sale will be staged as a live/online auction with a live auctioneer but viewed exclusively online, according to a Bonhams news release.

Along with the motorcycles, the auction will include a wide selection of vintage motorcycle racing gear, trophies and memorabilia.

Brough Superior SS100

The museum’s collection features a spectacular superbike from the golden age of British motorcycling, a 1936 Brough Superior 982C SS100 that bears the earliest engine number in a production model.  Among its special factory features are foot gear control, small-type curved-top pannier bags, a Wasdell front guard and pillion footrests.

The Brough was restored by the museum and is valued at £240,000 to £280,000 ($318,400 to $371,500).

The National Motorcycle Museum is the largest exhibitor of British bikes, with a historic overview of more than 170 UK brands covering 120 years. 

The 1960 Triumph T120 began the reign of prized Bonnevilles

 “We are pleased to be offering enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to acquire motorcycles from our Reserve Collection, with those that have been restored in our own workshop having a solid silver plaque fitted to them confirming the provenance,” said James Hewing, director of the museum.

“This year’s events have given us the time to assess our reserve and duplicate inventory, and we can now look forward to reopening having freed up some desperately needed storage space.”

Ben Walker, International Department director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles, added, “Bonhams is delighted to have been entrusted with this premium patriotic collection from such a prestigious name in the motorcycle world.”

bonhams, British motorcycle museum adds 50 bikes to Bonhams’ UK auction, ClassicCars.com Journal
1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire, a rare luxury touring bike

The museum’s Reserve Collection includes classic British marques ranging from “Ariel and Velocette to Triumph and Vincent, via Norton and Royal Enfield,” the museum says in the Bonhams release.

Highlights of the museum’s motorcycle offerings are:

Two Nortons inspired by the brand’s sporting partnership with John Player Special, a 1990 Norton F1, estimated at £20,000 to £30,000 ($26,500 to $39,800) and a 1974 950cc JPN Replica, at £8,000 to 12,000 ($10,600 to $16,000).

bonhams, British motorcycle museum adds 50 bikes to Bonhams’ UK auction, ClassicCars.com Journal
The 1974 Norton 829cc John Player Commando

Among the Triumphs is an early example of its quintessential post-war Bonneville, a 1960 T120, at £10,000 to £15,000 ($13,300 to $19,900), and a trio of Valmoto racing motorcycles from the 2003 season, each estimated at £16,000 to £20,000 ($21,200 to $26,500).

The group also includes some unusual bikes, such as the oldest-surviving Hesketh Vampire from 1982, a luxury super tourer that was the brainchild of Lord Hesketh, founder of the eponymous and flamboyant 1970s Formula One racing team. Estimated at £15,000 to £25,000 ($19,900 to $33,100).

The 1921 Douglas 10.5 Tourer has been driven fewer than 4,000 miles

Four lightweight automobiles and cycle cars from the museum’s collection will be offered, a 1934 Morgan Super Sport 3-wheeler powered by a J.A.P. V-twin engine, a 1932 BSA 8.9-horsepower Scout Sports 3-wheeler, a 1930 AJS 8.9-horsepower Dickey Seat Tourer and a 1921 Douglas 10.5 Tourer, believed to be the sole survivor of six produced by the motorcycle company and with an odometer showing just 3,834 miles.

Several other fine collections will be among the motorcycles offered at the auction, including the Connoisseur Collection from a British estate, a Competition Collection of racing bikes and the Carole Nash Collection, “offered by the stalwart of the motorcycle community and founder of the namesake and industry leading motorcycle insurer,” Bonhams says.

For more information about Bonhams Winter Sale, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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