An extraordinary collection of 31 Speedway Motorcycles, reflecting the glory years of a sport once the second most popular in the UK, will be the centrepiece of Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale on October 15/16 at the world-famous Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in Stafford.
The Forshaw Speedway Collection represents 60 years of speedway history from its beginnings in the 1920s. Leading the collection are an exemplary pre-war American duo of a Crocker and an Indian, the collection also includes European motorcycles, representing great marques such as BSA, Douglas, Norton and Rudge. Having been displayed at the prestigious Haynes Motor Museum for the past 25 years, the collection is now offered with a total high estimate of more than £500,000.
The motorcycles were amassed by the late enthusiast and engineer Richard Forshaw, whose father, Captain Ivan Forshaw, was a former motorcycle racer before founding the family’s respected Aston Martin specialist business in Dorset. Richard was also, in his own words “a former, if undistinguished, speedway rider now with a passion for collecting the motorcycles of the sport”. He tested his engineering skills by restoring some of the machines which was a ‘labour of love’.
Leading the group are two exciting American machines: the first, a 1934 Crocker Speedway 500cc OHV, estimate £100,000 – 150,000. Crocker’s hand-built master pieces earned the marque a legendary status, with its V-twin machines now some of the world’s most valuable. It is believed that no more than 30 – 40 single-cylinder Crockers were produced, including this 1934 example, known as the ‘Red’ Rice Crocker after its original rider, which Richard acquired in a swap for a Brough-Superior in 1996 and described as the ‘most original known as it still has the correct Crocker tank, frame, etc.
Also offered is a circa 1927 Indian Speedway 350cc OHV Dirt Track Model, estimate £90,000 – 130,000. The traditional red Indian was ridden by an early star of the sport, American Art Pechar. The American National Dirt-Track champion came over to compete in England when speedway first arrived in the country in 1928, breaking the Greenford and Stamford Bridge mile records in the same day, June 16.
Bonhams said: “This is an extraordinary collection assembled by a fastidious collector who was dedicated to the preservation of Speedway heritage. Aside from the exceptional Crocker and Indian, there are some very enticing and rare machines throughout, the likes of which haven’t been seen at a public auction for at least a generation.”
Check out www.bonhams.com/autumnsale for a full listing of the incredible machines on offer from the Forshaw Collection.
The Forshaw family said: “It has been an honour being custodians of our father’s collection. It represents a lifetime of enthusiasm and hard work searching for such rarities, and we hope they will find new and appreciative homes where they will be cherished in the same way that he cherished them.”
The Forshaw Collection is currently exhibited at Haynes Motor Museum where it has been on display since Richard’s death in 1997, with the exhibition opened by six-times Speedway world champion Ivan Mauger.
Bonhams returns to Stafford for its traditional Autumn sale at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics show on October 15/16.
Further entries are invited to the Autumn Stafford Sale. Contact the Bonhams Motorcycles team at: [email protected] – +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 or visit www.bonhams.com/motorcycles for all the latest news and to request a complimentary auction valuation.