Bonhams : Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle

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Lot 490
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle

£ 7,000 - 10,000
US$ 8,800 - 13,000
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
When, in 1960, Benelli was forced to acknowledge that it need a multi-cylinder machine to remain competitive in Grand Prix racing's 250cc class, the Italian firm was able to draw on past experience of this type if machine, having constructed a 'blown' quarter-litre four in 1939. Although it was first seen in 1960, the 250 Benelli four did not race competitively until April 1962, when Silvio Grassetti debuted the bike at Imola. Although eliminated by a bent valve in that first race, Grassetti stunned the racing world a week later at Cesenatico, beating the seemingly invincible works Hondas of Jim Redman and Tom Phillis. Development continued into 1965, an eight-speed gearbox being new for that season, but by now Honda were fielding a six-cylinder 250 ridden by the best rider in the world – Mike Hailwood. Spreading its limited resources even more thinly, Benelli pressed ahead with developing a 16-valve 350 and a 500.

With its No. 1 rider Tarquinio Provini forced into premature retirement through injury, Benelli signed Renzo Pasolini who promptly rewarded his new employers' faith by winning the 250 and 350 Italian Championships in 1968. By 1969 the last of the Japanese manufacturers had pulled out of the World Championships, clearing the way for the Benelli fours to grab a slice of Grand Prix glory. Agostini and MV Agusta remained unassailable in the 350 and 500 classes at World level, but in the 250 category Benelli eventually got the better of Kent Andersson's Yamaha and Santiago Herrero's Ossa, Kel Carruthers bringing the Championship back to Pesaro. There were sporadic appearances by the 350 and 500 fours over the next few years (four-cylinder 250s having been banned) but that glorious 1969 season effectively marked the end of Benelli's Grand Prix campaign.

The Benelli racer offered here is a copy made by Bob Jackson Motorcycles, of Ulverston using a new four-cylinder Benelli 250 engine (actually 231cc) as fitted to the Quattro roadster of the 1970s. Purchased by the current owner circa ten years ago, the machine has been ridden on the Isle of Man TT Parade laps and at most mainland circuits in Britain. It has even been ridden by Giacomo Agostini.

While in the current vendor's possession the Benelli has been fitted with a race camshaft while the engine and carburettors have been ported and gas flowed. Unused for the past two years, the machine benefits from a recent new primary chain and is described as in generally excellent condition. A quantity of spares to include engine casings and carburettors is included in the sale.

An opportunity to acquire a replica Benelli Grand Prix four at a relatively affordable cost, which can be ridden to its full potential without fear of the consequences.
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
Benelli 250 Grand Prix Replica Racing Motorcycle
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

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