Bonhams Auction Breaks Records, Top Gear Duo Motorcycles Sell 100 Percent

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on April 27, 2015, was a record success, achieving £2,262,109, with 86 percent sold. British machines proved immensely popular, with 90% of the top 10 lots legendary British marques Vincent, Brough and Coventry.

The 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide motorcycle took the sale top spot. Once rescued from scrap and originally purchased in exchange for a mere £10 and an Amal TT carburetor, the fully restored Vincent sold for £275,900 to a bidder in the room.

Further British motorcycle highlights include the 1930 Brough Superior OHV 680 Black Alpine (£138,140); the 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series-D (£72,060); the 1926 Coventry Eagle 980cc Flying Eight (£106,780), and the 1933 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp Project sold at £52,900, more than four times top estimate.

Richard Hammond is sitting on a Vincent Black Shadow.
Richard Hammond is sitting on a Vincent Black Shadow.

Former Top Gear duo James May and Richard Hammond added some celebrity excitement to the event, cheerily bidding and joking with auctioneer Malcolm Barber. With 12 motorcycles consigned to the sale, the duo witnessed 100 percent of their collections sold, with Hammond’s 2010 Norton Commando 961SE the top lot of the series (£15,180).

“Our annual Spring Stafford Sale far surpassed all previous years, totalling £2.2 million – we’re delighted with the results,” said Ben Walker, International Director of Bonhams Motorcycle department. “We’ve seen some fantastic prices, with new precedent being set. The level of enthusiasm at Stafford is always brilliant – with people travelling from across the globe to attend – with those that couldn’t bidding from the comfort of their homes via the telephone or our online bidding platform.”

James May is sitting on a Honda RC 30.
James May is sitting on a Honda RC 30.

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer of the sale, said: “Today’s sale attracted international bidding, celebrity consignments, and saw the motorcycle market buoyant at this annual season opener, the Stafford show. We saw many new collectors entering the market with strong bidding from English collectors and continentals alike. We witnessed investment bidding, but the market as usual is supported by enthusiasts.”

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