Ex-factory race bike, Daytona 200 polesitter
1957 BSA 500cc Gold Star 'Daytona Beach Special'
Frame no. CB326015
Engine no. DBD34GS2389
This Gold Star's race history is short but sweet. A factory-prepped Daytona Beach special, it was provided to BSA's western states distributor Hap Alzina, who put it in the hands of talented rider Albert Gunter. "Slidin' Al" made the most of the opportunity, setting fast qualifying time for the 1957 200-miler. The race itself was a two-man affair, Gunter trading the lead with Harley-Davidson's national champion rider Joe Leonard. A quicker refueling stop put Leonard in the lead for good, with Gunter and the BSA coming home second, a lap and a half ahead of the third-place finisher.
The next year, the BSA was back at the beach, this time being straddled by young Bobby Sirkegian, a Daytona rookie. But the 18-year-old wasn't without experience. He was already one of the NHRA's early drag race stars, winning championships and setting track records from California to Kansas. In 1957, his first season on the AMA flat-track circuit, he took Top Novice honors. In '58 as an Amateur, he served notice there was more to come when he finished an impressive second to Leonard at the Riverside roadrace, a combined Expert/Amateur event, aboard this very BSA. He was ready for Daytona, where he qualified the Gold Star on the front row for the 100-mile Amateur final, and brought it home in fourth place.
Per AMA rules, the BSA was based on a stock Gold Star. Its gas tank, at 5½ gallons, was slightly larger to allow 100 miles of range so the Daytona 200 could be accomplished on just one pit stop. Up front, an optional full-width 190mm brake slowed the BSA from its 125-mph top speed on Daytona's paved back straight. A set of heavy-duty Girling shocks originally intended for sidecar use dealt with the track's sandy, rutted corners. The motor was largely as delivered from BSA's "comp shop" with the addition of S&W valve springs to combat float at the 7000-rpm redline. A special RRT2 close-ratio gearbox meant the engine could be kept on the boil into and out of turns. Most important addition was a special Daytona air-intake system that placed the filter near the right rear shock, shielded from damaging sand spray by the rider's leg.
In 1960 at the last Daytona 200 run on the old beach course, a refueling mix-up cost Sirkegian time and he finished a disappointing 17th though he was still first BSA behind a slew of the all-conquering Harley-Davidson KRs. The Gold Star's last race would come two months later at the Ascot TT. Soon after, Sirkegian's father passed away and Bobby, just 20, hung up his leathers and took on day-to-day operations at the family's motorcycle dealerships.
Now 71, Sirkegian kept the BSA all these years and has just finished a complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration of the bike. Every time it raced at Daytona, this Gold Star was the best BSA at the beach. It's now been brought back to life by the very man who last raced it 50 years ago.
US$ 35,000 - 45,000
£23,000 - 30,000
27,000 - 35,000
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