Bonhams to Auction Rare Historic Motorcycles

UK, – April 14, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Bonhams are proud to announce the addition of two fantastic new highlights to its motorcycle auction on 25th April 2010 at The International Classic MotorCycle Show, Stafford. One is the ex-Francis Williams, Basil Keys Norton-JAP 996cc Mk1 ‘Saltdean Special’ Sprinter (estimate £90,000-100,000) and the other a 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 (estimate £110,000-130,000); both are expected to attract much enthusiastic bidding on the day.

The ex-Francis Williams, Basil Keys Norton-JAP is a historic sprinting motorcycle with outstanding stature and competition pedigree. This example is the first of three Norton-JAP sprinters conceived and built by Francis J Williams and it was the machine to beat in its day. In 1959 it was sold to Basil Keys, himself a dedicated sprinting enthusiast, who went on to win many events on it with the name Basil Keys becoming synonymous with the Brighton Speed Trials. In 1959 he broke the course record at Brighton, covering the standing-start kilometre in 21.59 seconds at an average speed of 103.61mph.

Lot 445, the Brough Superior SS100 needs little introduction. Legendary superbike of motorcycling’s between-the-wars ‘Golden Age’, Brough Superior – ‘The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles’ – was synonymous with high performance, engineering excellence and quality of finish. That such a formidable reputation was forged by a motorcycle constructed almost entirely from bought-in components says much for the publicity skills of George Brough. But if ever a machine was more than the sum of its parts, it was the Brough Superior. This example has only had four owners and is offered for sale by a Brough Superior Club copy works record card, a Tester’s Road Report and an old-style buff logbook issued in April 1955.

With over 500 lots of motorcycles and related memorabilia ranging from an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller to a 1950 ex-Ernie Thomas Velocette KTT Mk VIII, and a 1950 Vincent 998cc Series-C Rapide to a 1974 Laverda 750SFC Production Racing Motorcycle, this is an auction that should not be missed.

Ben Walker, Head of Motorcycle Department comments, “This is without a doubt one of the best line-ups of collectors’ motorcycles ever offered for sale at The International Classic Motorcycle Show. There is something for everyone, the sale encompassing all genres and areas of collecting. Given the number of important and historic machines on offer I expect the printed catalogue to become a collectors’ item in its own right!’

Online Catalogue

For further press information please contact Kathryn Boyleon 0207 468 5874 or kathryn.boyle@bonhams.com / press@bonhams.com

About Bonhams
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further seven throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 50 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to www.bonhams.com.

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