Remarkable 'barn-find' Brough Superior and VMCC founders former motorcycle offer unique opportunities for collectors at Bonhams Autumn Stafford sale

21 Oct 2012, Important Collectors' Motorcycles. 19th Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show

Remarkable 'barn-find' Brough Superior and VMCC founders former motorcycle offer unique opportunities for collectors at Bonhams Autumn Stafford sale

21 Oct 2012, Important Collectors' Motorcycles. 19th Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show

The un-restored 1925 SS-80 has been owned by one family since new and is estimated to realize between £55,000 and £75,000 on its return to market.

Also up for auction is the famous 1930 SS-80 De Luxe 'Black Bess', which was previously owned by Vintage Motor Cycle Club founder C E 'Titch' Allen and could fetch between £80,000 and £120,000.

Collectors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire two important Brough Superior SS-80 motorcycles at the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show on Sunday 21st October: one original, un-restored and not been seen publicly for more than eight decades, and the other once owned by the founder of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club.

1925 Brough Superior SS-80

The remarkable 'barn-find' 981cc 1925 model (estimate £55,000 - £75,000) has been owned by the same family since new and off the road since 1930.

Bonhams sold a 1924 model – thought to be the most original surviving example of its type – at the Autumn Stafford Sale last year. The machine, also offered at auction for the first time in its history, sold for £100,500.

1930 Brough Superior SS-80 De Luxe 'Black Bess'

Founder of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club (VMCC), the late C E 'Titch' Allen OBE, bought 'Black Bess', as the machine came to be known, using a £50 gratuity given to him in the aftermath of World War II, during which he served as a dispatch rider and a sergeant, being awarded the British Empire Medal.

He had a life-long love affair with the Brough Superior marque, and in a 1997 letter to the current owner, said of 'Black Bess': "In many ways it was the most important bike in my life."

Restored to original specification by marque specialists during the 1990s after its acquisition by the current vendor, the motorcycle is offered for sale in excellent condition, and is estimated to realize between £80,000 and £120,000.

Ben Walker, Head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer these two remarkable machines at our Autumn Stafford Sale.

"Brough Superiors still in the possession of the first owner's family can, in all probability, be counted on the fingers of one hand. So this wonderfully original and un-restored 1925 model, accompanied by a fascinating history file, represents a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for discerning collectors.

"VMCC founder Titch Allen was tireless in his work to promote and preserve the vintage motorcycle scene, and we are honored to offer one of his favorite machines for sale.

"With the 1929 Grindlay-Peerless 'Hundred Model' that won the Brooklands 'Gold Star' award for a 100mph lap in 1937, Aled Jenkins's fantastic collection of modern Japanese classics and now these two machines, as well as many other exciting motorcycles, the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale is shaping up to be one of our most important sales of the year."

See Lot Preview for further information on lots coming up in the Autumn Stafford sale.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

Contacts
  1. Ben Walker
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 8963 2819
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801