Motorcycles make their mark at £2.6 million Bonhams Beaulieu sale

The Beaulieu Sale Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles and Automobilia featuring the Exmoor Classic Car Museum collection
8 Sep 2012
Beaulieu, National Motor Museum

An 1898 Phébus 2¾hp Motor Tricycle the star as Exmoor Classic Car Museum sells out for £667,000.

A very rare 1898 Phébus Motor Tricycle was among the highlights at the Bonhams Beaulieu Sale on Saturday 8th September. The 2¾hp model, geared for speeds in excess of 30mph, sold for £28,750.

The entire contents of the Exmoor Classic Car Museum Collection, of which the Phébus was part, realised £667,128, with every lot of the 13 motorcycles, 10 cars and assorted automobilia selling.

Based in Porlock in Somerset, the museum was the retirement project of Stephen Johns, an entrepreneur who ran a pyjama manufacturing business in Keighley, West Yorkshire, for 45 years, before moving to the West Country and setting up a museum to house the collection he had built up over the years.

Motorcycle sale highlights from the Exmoor Classic Car Museum Collection included a 1947 Dot 122cc AA Tri-Car that sold for £10,350 and a c.1945 BSA 591cc M21 Motorcycle Combination that sold for £9,430. Both realised more than twice their top estimates.

Top motorcycle lots from outside the collection included a 1926 Douglas 348cc EW, which realised £9,200; a 1922 Scott 532cc Standard Tourer, which sold for £9,430; and a 1924 Triumph 550cc SD Motorcycle & Sidecar, which made £11,500.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions