1961 BSA Anzani Bantam Special
Lot 345
1961 BSA Bantam 242cc British Anzani Special Frame no. D7 26342 Engine no. CJ1111
Sold for £2,070 (US$ 3,479) inc. premium
Lot Details
1961 BSA Bantam 242cc British Anzani Special
Registration no. 760 BY
Frame no. D7 26342
Engine no. CJ1111
This unique British Anzani-engined Bantam won 3rd prize for its creator David Blanchard in Motor Cycle's home-built specials competition and was featured in the magazine's 16th August 1962 edition (copy on file). The project had started in 1961 when David called at the British Anzani factory to buy a standard 322cc air-cooled twin but in addition came away with the prototype water-cooled 250 that he had admired at the 1956 Motorcycle Show. Anzani's water-cooled twin never made it into production and after testing in a James Captain rolling chassis this experimental engine had been consigned to a corner of the factory. As purchased (for £27) it came complete with an Albion gearbox and Wipac flywheel magneto.

Not long after acquisition, a Bantam Super was discovered going cheap at Godfreys of Croydon and David had a suitable home for his Anzani. Adapter plates were made to enable the engine to fit in the BSA frame and the left footrest and brake pedal moved outboard to accommodate it. A Greeves rear wheel sprocket was used (matching the width of the Albion gearbox sprocket) and a Velocette LE provided the radiator. Unusually, for a motorcycle unit, the Anzani has a single exhaust outlet at the side, necessitating the fabrication of a special exhaust system using two Bantam bends, cut and rejoined.

Motor Cycle commented: 'Blanchard's latest creation bears the stamp of all the main prize winners – a really professional-style finish. The machine might have come straight from an Earls Court Show.' Tester Vic Willoughby was said to have found it 'a very refined and pleasant lightweight' possessing impressive top-gear flexibility.

Documentation on file includes the Godfreys order form and purchase receipt, assorted British Anzani correspondence, magazine articles, the original logbook, some expired tax discs and an old-style Swansea V5. In addition there are two expired MoTs from the late 1960s and six from the 1970s, the latter recording the mileage total increasing from 92,458 in March 1970 to 93,624 in April 1975. The only other MoT (issued April 1994) records the mileage at that time as 93,716. In all probability the machine has not been ridden since then; thus careful re-commissioning and the customary safety checks are advised before further use. A spare Anzani water-cooled 250 motorcycle engine, believed the only other made, together with a selection of spares (including a new/old stock Anzani gasket set), is included in the sale.
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  1. Nicholas Biebuyck
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  2. James Stensel
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  3. Ben Walker
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
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    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801