Auction Action

August 31, 2015

The Don Leeson collection of Suzukis and spares goes under the hammer in May, while two RC feature bikes will be sold at Stafford. And how much would you pay for a burnt-out classic bike?

Classics Roll in for Kempton Sale

After a very successful first sale of the season at Cheltenham (see below), the burgeoning H&H motorcycle department will hold its second auction at Kempton Park Racecourse on May 12th 2007 - alongside the huge EGP Southern Classic Bike Show and bikejumble. Ardent bikers will be aware that this popular 21 year old event is arguably the biggest of all the general classic bike shows in the South, with some 400 stalls and thousands of visitors - an ideal venue for a motorcycle, motobilia and bicycle sale.

When we were at Kempton last month, the H&H team were eyeing up the pavilion and working out just how they were going to display the bikes and the tonnes of spares which will be in the auction in May. A major component of the sale will be the Don Leeson collection - of great interest to all fans of classic Suzukis.

Don was a founder member of the VJMC and an avid collector of Suzuki motorcycles. Sadly, he was killed on the Isle of Man two years ago, so his personal collection of some 40 machines is coming to market. Many of the motorcycles on offer are Suzukis from circa 1960 to early 1970. Most are road models, but there are one or two racing machines including a TR250 and a factory RV61 racing chassis equipped with a T20 engine.

There is also a 1912 Corah, which is believed to be the only example in existence and is in very original condition. Several hundred lots of new-old-stock and used spare parts will be on sale too (so bring a big van!).

Among the individual entries is a very rare 1967 Tohatsu 125cc Twin. It has had just one owner from new, who competed with it at club and national level before restoring it to its present condition.

The stuff of dreams for a 17 year old RealMart...

RealClassic readers may also be interested in the 1952 Norton Manx 40M (estimate £9000 to 11,000); a beautiful blue 1981 Ducati 900SS restored in 2003/4 by Tony Brancato (£7500 to 8500); a 1947 Norton Manx 40M (£7000 to 8000); a 1971 Norton Commando restored by Norvil Motorcycles (£6000 to 7000); a genuine Pykett replica 1948 AJS 18T (£1200 to 1600) and Ron McBeth's Talmag-winning 1948 AJS 16M Trials machine (£1200-1400).

An AJS, yesterday.

H&H are confident that the Kempton Park sale will attract considerable attention and that happy bidders will be going home with their purchases in tow.

The year got off to a great start at Cheltenham when over £370,000 worth of motorcycles was sold. Topping the table was the last ever production Vincent - a 1955 Black Prince which fetched a frightening £40,230. The ex-Steve Hislop factory Honda RC30, on which he won the 1989 TT and became the first rider ever to lap the Isle of Man at 120mph, made above estimate at £30,731.

Suzuki GT stuff on

Prices for 350 and 500cc Manx Nortons are on the rise, and H&H attracted no less than three for the Cheltenham sale. The 1956 500 sold for £29,055, while the 1949 500 and the 1956/7 350 both fetched £20,115.

Other significant results include the 1961 AJS 7R and 1962 Matchless G50 - both of which found new homes for £22,350. A 1926 Moto Guzzi Sport made above estimate at £10,058, as did a 1950 Vincent Comet at £6,593 and a Honda CB50 Dream at £3,241, while a dismantled 1951 Vincent Rapide fetched a substantial £14,528, despite missing its crankshaft. And a Velocette LE went for £770 - affordable by any standard!

There is still time to enter a motorcycle for the Kempton Park sale - see if you'd like to sell your bike at this auction.

Entry to the sale is by catalogue; you can have one sent to you before the sale by calling 01925 730630.

******** Frank couldn't help noticing that the handlebar grips were the wrong shade of grey.

RealClassics Under The Hammer At Stafford

Two bikes which have been featured in RealClassic magazine will be up for sale in the Bonham's auction at the Stafford Classic Bike Show on 29th April 2007. Last year we rode and wrote about a very original Norton Dominator 88 De-Luxe and a 1913 Indian V-Twin.

Both were owned by Steve Stephens who has since passed away, and the bikes are now looking for new owners. The Indian is estimated to be worth between £20,000 and £24,000, while the Dommi is expected to sell for around £3000.

As usual, there are plenty of other machines on offer at the Bonham's auction from a 1902 Peugeot Perfecta (estimate £4800 to 5500) to an MV Agusta Magni 861cc racer (estimate £25,000 to 30,000) which has been ridden regularly in recent years by ex-World Champion Phil Read. Phil has also consigned his own 2001 MV F4 to the sale, a machine which was given to Phil by MV President, Claudio Castiglioni.

Vincents have been performing strongly in the sale-rooms in recent years and the c1949 Black Lightning (estimate £45,000 to 55,000) is sure to set pulses racing. Built up from parts in Australia a few years ago and freshly restored in the UK, it incorporates a genuine Black Lightning engine delivered new to Eric Winterbottom in 1949 for use in a Cooper racing car. Two Japanese machines of exceptional interest have been consigned also: a 1969 Yamaha 350cc TR2 racer (estimate £12,000 to 15,000) that has never been used and remains as delivered to its German owner; and a highly original, 'modern classic' 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 (estimate £3000 to 3500) used only briefly when new and with a mere 2600 miles recorded.

To order a full catalogue for this sale you should call 08700 273 616 or email

A Real Classic


Fire-Damage Frenzy

There must have been some March madness in the air at Ledbury for the HJ Pugh sale which included the Roy Thompson collection of fire damaged motorcycles. The Pugh sales usually feature a good selection of workaday motorcycles at reasonable prices, but this time the smell of smoke must have affected the bidders' sense.

For instance, an unremarkable, fire-damaged BSA A10 with no papers sold for £580. We have experience of rebuilding a classic bike which has been burned and it demands a near-total restoration. You may think it doesn't look so bad but... the heat severely affects rubber, alloy, plastic and even pukka castings. And you don't know how bad it really is until you take the thing to pieces.

So it's amazing (well, we're amazed) that someone paid £20,000 for a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow. £3300 for a mis-matched 'Gold Star'. £32,000 (that's not a typo: thirty-two thousand pounds) for a 1925 Brough-Superior SS80 (not even an SS100!). Frankly, paying £250 for a fire-damaged Silk was probably too much...

Back in something resembling the land of the living, whole running bikes sold for sensible money. A 1969 175cc Bantam, recently rebuilt, went for £400. A 1966 Tiger 90 changed hands for £1500. A 1956 Ariel VH500 with a year's MoT went for £1900. A 1950 Douglas Dragonfly went for £1850 - for the same money someone else bought a fire-damaged Norton CS1 frame, forks and wheels, minus documents.

There's going to be a big batch of 'just restored' bikes coming onto the market in the next couple of years - and they'll be asking top dollar for them!


Lots of Lots At Cheffins

The entries for the Cheffins Spring vintage sale closed recently to give a good selection of old motorcycles and automobilia April 21st 2007 at the saleground, Sutton near Ely in Cambridgeshire.

Alongside the 400 lots of automobilia going under the hammer, you'll find some 50 bikes including a 1950 Vincent Comet, a 1955 Vincent Black Knight and a 1949 Vincent Rapide. Classic Japanese fans might want to bid for the 1983 Honda CB1100RD, the 1982 Honda CBX, the 1984 Honda VF1000R or the 1984 Kawasaki GPZ900R, while Beesa lovers can choose between a 1955 Bantam D1, a 1970 Thunderbolt, a 1963 B40, a couple of Rocket Goldie replicas and a 1961 BSA Golden Flash. There's even a brand new CCM 404DS for those folks who fancy something a little more up to date.

Catalogues are available by post at £10 each from 01223 213777 or email for more information.

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