Friday, April 13, 2012

HEAVY HARDWARE AT STAFFORD

The remarkable 1928 Windhoff; radical, beautifully engineered, stunning.
Bonhams have revamped their website, and their auction list for the Stafford sale on April 29th has a lineup of fascinating and significant machines.  The Stafford show is held twice yearly, in April and October, and the Bonhams sale has developed into a showcase for the most exotic, and expensive, vintage motorcycles anywhere.
The sexiest of all Brough Superior SS100s; the 'Two of Everything' of 1932, with 75hp JAP motor
 While the combined forces of 3 auction houses in Las Vegas exceed Stafford in sheer numbers of machines, the 'cow shed' sale in northern England attracts the créme de la créme of motorcycling, and regularly sets sales records, while setting prices for collectors everywhere.  It has also become the weathervane for the financial health of the Vintage movement; after record-busting years leading up to 2008, post-crash years have seen healthy sales, with prices dipping a bit for 'affordable' machines (good news for everyday riders and aspirational collectors) and stability for the rarest bikes.
1931 Douglas 750cc Works racing outfit, a very rare bird indeed
Sale prices for top-tier machines are heating up this year, and this April's Stafford will provide a rare opportunity for comparing the money-moods of 2008 and 2012: several of the featured bikes were purchased at the market's peak in 2008, and it will be instructive to see them auctioned again.
As an example, the ex-Brian Verrall 1939 Vincent-HRD Series 'A' Rapide sold in Sept 2008 for £198,400 ($347,200 on the day's exchange rate), placing it high on my 'Top 20 Prices at Auction' list - the estimate is now £180-220,000 ($290-350,000).
One of the last prewar Vincent-HRD Series A twins, of the 74 produced
The remarkable 1928 Windhoff (see top photo) four-cylinder oil-cooled ohc sold for £100,500/$177,182 in 2008 (at Stafford!), and I would expect a higher price this year, as awareness has spread regarding this machine's landmark qualities.  It predates the 'frameless' design of the Vincent 'Series B' twin by nearly 20 years, using the engine as a fully stressed member, with four straight tubes emerging from the gearbox to hold the shaft-driven rear wheel in line.
This 1936 Vincent-HRD TT Replica is one of 9 road-going production racers built by the firm that year, with a large stainless steel petrol tank (as per the Works machines), magnesium brake plates, and a gusseted frame
The as-last-raced 1927 ex-Works TT Triumph, previously featured on The Vintagent, is also on sale, along with several other 'oily rag' machines, pukka racers, a few basket cases, a lot of Vincents, and a long list of automobilia, including a super rare set of 1930s racing leathers.  The catalog makes interesting reading...there's plenty of tempting stuff, as always.
A super rare set of 1930s racing leathers (no maker's tag, but the size is a men's Small) is expected to fetch £300-400

This trio of Harley-Davidson production racers would make an excellent collection in themselves; at top, a 1950 WR (to WRTT spec) estimated at £16-22,000
For something more modern, how about a 1972 XR750TT, estimated at £22-26,000
Or even the middle child, a 1960 KR.  Introduced in 1952, the 'K' engine, with unit construction, was the last Harley sidevalve racer, in production for a remarkable 15 years, and eventually tuned to reach 150mph!  The ultimate sidevalve racer.

10 comments:

Ted said...

Lot #333 caught my eye. A Canadian made HD WLC.

Grandpa Jimbo said...

Paul:
The 1928 Windhoff is now (to my mind) the most desirable and absolutely fetching motorcycle you've shared with us. Thanks, to me it's tops! I would rather have it than the SS100S.
Jim A., Tucson, AZ

Anonymous said...

LOVE THE BROUGH SUPERIOR SS100. SAW A CROCKER MOTORCYCLE AT A MUSEUN IN SOLVANG CALIFORNIA. IT WAS A STUNNING MACHINE. HAND BUILT IN 1940. THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOTORCYCLE I HAVE EVER SEEN. THANK YOU JOHN FINCH

Anonymous said...

TO ME THERE WAS A CROCKER MOTORCYCLE AT A MUSEUM IN SOLVANG CALIFORNIA. IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF MOTORCYCLES.

Bob Blackman said...

I like Tarkus the BMW based 3 cylinder radial trike

Bob Blackman said...

I like the BMW based 3 cylinder radial engined trike

Charlie101 said...

The Bonham site is a not user friendly, reversed priority order with the pictures, Starting with the scrap and I have to go to the last page to see the most valuable items? Changing pages doesnt transfer you to the top. Small pictures and the zoom is a nuisance to use! I guess they made their best and it's just me.

GuitarSlinger said...

Good Sir

You NEED to succumb to the world of hardcopy Print and do a physical book . There's just too many fascinating M/C's out there with Zero info publicly available and damn it you're just the guy to write it .

Maybe in separate volumes . each dedicated to the M/C's of an individual country . Volume One of course being British

I'm making room on the bookshelf Paul ... so get to it ... please ...... pretty please ;-)

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Guitar Slinger, everyone else:

The "hard copy" CATALOGUE can be bought following this link. It's a beautiful collector's and reference piece and worthy of your library.
http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19766/

-Simon

jeevan said...

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