Thursday, May 22, 2008


Prof. Fritz Ehn amassed a collection of over 300 machines, from bicycles and scooters to racing motorcycles, and built a museum to house them in 1980. As he is currently building a museum of farm machinery (!?), he has decided to sell up his entire motorcycle collection - apparently this is the largest single-owner collection ever to come up for sale at auction.
Bonhams will host the sale at the RAF Museum, Hendon, on June 30th, and it includes the gamut of bikes, expected to bring prices ranging from £200-£25,000; something for everyone really, from unusual scooters to British, German, and Italian roadsters, and a few exotic racers to bring in the high-rollers.

Scooters on offer include a rare KTM Mirabell from 1957, with a 6hp, 125cc two-stroke Sachs engine. Very shapely, in contrast to the angular 'stealth bomber' styling of their current range.

Although many BMW's are included, the most interesting is a 1928 R47, with a 500cc ohv engine, looking like an original, older restoration. It's expected to fetch around £20,000 (I paid $35k for an R63, the 750cc brother of this bike, around 4 years ago). Super rare and coveted, I'm sure this will go for more than the estimate; BMW people are voracious for ohv flat-tankers.

Perfect to stomp the competition on the Moto Giro is this '57 MV Agusta Squalo, a 175cc ohc single cylinder production racer with jelly-mold tank and Earles front forks. No info on this bike from Bonham's, but they do have a 750S America estimated to bring £20k (aesthetically, my favorite MV four).

If you want to skip the competition and go straight to picking up hot Italian babes, you'll need this 1929 Bohmerland Reisemodell (est. £24k), which is long enough to fit a family of six in comfort - in fact these are the longest production motorcycle in the world, with three seats as standard. This looks to have an MAG (Swiss) 600cc ohv engine - hopefully Bonham's will get on the ball and publish their catalog online already, as the motorcycle details currently are scant (are you listening, Ben Walker? Hop on it!). Passengers not included. Is the rider wearing sandals and black socks? Austria.

Of even more technical interest is this 1929 Neander P3 Sport, with 999cc MAG inlet-over-exhaust v-twin engine. Designed by Ernst Neumann-Neander, the frame is built of presssed-aluminum channels covered with cadmium (never needs painting), and all Neanders used the bulbous 'egg' petrol tank (which is integral with the frame) and unique solo bucket seat. The Opel factory later made them under license, and were called the 'Motoclub'. This particular machine looks to have lost its original forks, as normally pressed-steel blades are used which have a distinctive leaf-spring housing on the sides. Estimated price £18-25k.

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