10 Best Auction Items: Bonhams Stafford Show

Author: Phil West Posted: 20 Apr 2015

The 35th Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show takes place this weekend, 25-26 April 2015, at the Staffordshire County Showground.

It's a flagship event of the classic motorcycling calendar, well into its fourth decade, and is still going strong. Welcoming the very best that classic British motorcycling has to offer, Staffordshire County Showground plays host to this traditional spring spectacular with row-upon-row of stunning display machines providing plenty for showgoers to explore. Several halls and outside areas of the venue are packed with trade stands and autojumble plots, all of which is ably supported by special star guests, a host of classic motorcycle clubs, exciting live action, classic off-road machines and the always intriguing Bonhams spring sale!

We've looked at the auction items and picked out the 10 best.

  • 1972 Triumph 750cc X75 Hurricane

Lot 283: Triumph 750cc X75 Hurricane

Lot 283. Among the most stylish of all Triumphs, the X75 was actually born in the US as a BSA. In 1969, BSA-Triumph's US distributors asked Craig Vetter to create a customised BSA Rocket 3 inspired by the 'chopper' and the movie Easy Rider. This was the result, although by the time it reached production in '72, BSA was no more and Vetter's creation had become a Triumph. Sadly it was built only for just over a year, one of the reasons why today they’re highly sought after. This is one of the very earliest and, up to 2004, lived in the US. It’s completely unrestored and is expected to fetch £15-19,000.


  • 1928 Indian ‘Four’

Lot 325: 1928 Indian 'Four'

Lot 325. One of the rarest and most desirable of all classic American motorcycles, and all the more so now with the recent re-emergence of the historic US brand, the ‘Four’ was actually derived from the rival ‘Ace’ which Indian bought in 1927. The ‘Four’ then continued in production until 1942.

This example was smuggled out of Czechoslovakia before the Berlin Wall came down and completely rebuilt in the UK finally completed in 2000. Only a handful of miles have been covered since and the bike is expected to reach between £65,000 - 70,000.


  • 1974 Kawasaki 250 F11

Lot 341: 1974 Kawasaki 250 F11

Lot 341. Early ‘70s trail bikes have a growing allure in classics circles for their great styling, simple mechanicals and fun ride and Kawasaki’s offering’s are more stylish than most. Launched in 1971, the F11 formed part of Kawasaki's expanding range of off-roaders and was produced up to the end of 1975, though never sold in the UK, its place being taken by the KE250. This beautifully restored example was Imported into the UK from the US recently and comes with US title, customs document and NOVA declaration. It’s expected to sell for £2500 - 3000


  • Complete run of Motocourse (almost)

Lot 85: Almost Complete run of Motocourse

Lot 85. The much-fabled GP annual is a true collectors item, especially the early versions (it dates back to 1976), which often sell for £100s. So this near-complete run of 30 books from 1979/80 to 2013/14 (just 1976, 77, 78, 99 and 2009 are missing), especially with an estimate of around £500 is tempting indeed, plus there’s a ‘Motocourse 50 Years of Moto Grand Prix’ , two motorcycle yearbooks for 1998/99 and 2008 and other reference books thrown in, along with 14 boxed models of various scales from the like of Minichamps.


  • Barry Sheene race-worn helmet by Bell, 1980s

Lot 113: Barry Sheene race-worn Bell helmet

Lot 113. If you, like us, were thinking ‘I thought Sheeney wore AGVs in the ‘80s’ it’s worth pointing out that this is one of the great man’s later CAR racing lids, believed to have been used during his 1985 Touring car campaign during which he mostly took part in a Toyota Supra. Even so, it’s still a great piece of memorabilia in Sheene’s traditional  'John The Paint' black and gold livery, with Sheene's trademark 'duck' logo on the front, number '7' on the sides and 'Barry Sheene' script to rear, which probably goes some way to explaining the £1000-1500 estimate.


  • 1952 Harley-Davidson 1200cc 'Captain America Replica'

Lot 202: 1952 Harley-Davidson 1200cc 'Captain America replica'

Lot 202. There are few motorcycles more iconic than the ‘Captain America’ Harley immortalized by Peter Fonda in the landmark 1968 movie 'Easy Rider' as originally designed by Vaughs and Hardy. The whereabouts of the originals is still disputed to this day but good replicas have a strong allure, too. Tjhis example’s about as good as they get, based around a '52 Panhead. It’s offered with V5C, Kentucky Certificate of Title, 1988 Customs papers, old MOTs and a selection of photographs detailing the rebuild. It’s estimated to fetch £14,000 - £18,000


  • 1930 Brough Superior Black Alpine

Lot 292: 1930 Brough Superior Black Alpine

Lot 292. The allure and history of George Brough’s exemplary machines is well-known, with the result that today’s survivors regularly post record sales prices at auction. The Black Alpine, however, introduced in 1929 in response to Brough’s desire to build a deluxe version of his popular 680, was the best of the best and stands out for eye-catching features such as twin headlamps and linked silencers. This example is well-known (even featuring in 1996 on 'The Big Breakfast' and in Motorcycle Sport and Leisure magazine in 2012). It’s expected to sell for £70,000 - 100,000


  • James May’s 1974 Yamaha FS1-E.

Lot 326: James May's 1974 Yamaha FS1-E

Lot 326. Mysteriously, the Top Gear presenter and classic bike buff has put seven of his collection into the Stafford Bonhams’ auction, most eye-catchingly this ‘Fizzie’. Now elevated to a cult status, the FS1-E 'Sixteener Special' was developed from the 'FS1' with the addition of a set of bicycle pedals to meet then UK moped legislation. Until August 1977, when a law change forced its restriction, the 'Fizzie' produced 4.9bhp and was good for around 45mph – enough to make it a huge teenage hit at the time and a massively-popular ‘classic’ today. This example was fully restored in 2007 and purchased by May in 2011. It’s expected to fetch £2000-2400.

  • Richard Hammond’s 2010 Norton Commando 961SE

Lot 335: Richard Hammond's 2010 Noton Commando 961SE

Lot 335. Few motorcycle makers have had as chequered a history as Norton. The marque’s enduring fascination stems from a reputation forged on track during the first half of the 20th century when the bikes from the Bracebridge Street factory swept all before them. Its latest revival is thanks to East Midlands businessman Stuart Garner who acquired the name from its US owners in 2008 and who then completed development of this all-new Commando. Deliveries commenced in 2010, and BBC Top Gear presenter and avid motorcycle collector, Richard Hammond, was one of the first customers. It’s since covered relatively few miles and remains in 'like new' condition. It’s expected to fetch £14,500-18,500.


  • 1979 Suzuki GS1000S

Lot 351: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S

Lot 351. Suzuki first four-cylinder four-stroke, the GS750, was launched in 1976, soon followed by the equally impressive GS1000, which was fast enough to steal the Kawasaki Z1000’s superbike crown its handling thanks to air forks at the front and rear suspension units adjustable for damping as well as spring pre-load made was class-leading as well. But the best of the bunch GS1000S sports version, the latter equipped with an iconic cockpit fairing enclosing a more comprehensive instrument cluster. Imported from Italy this unrestored, as new example has had just two owners, displays a total of just 22,688 kilometres and, for £4500-5000, is probably as good as they come.

What do you have your eye on?  or ! 

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