Bonhams : The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 318
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials
Registration no. NOV 474 Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)

Sold for £ 6,900 (US$ 8,896) inc. premium
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT
1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials
Registration no. NOV 474
Frame no. BB32 R 105
Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)
• Prepared in the BSA Competitions Department
• Ridden as a private entry in the 1958 ISDT
• Known ownership history

Arguably the most successful production racing motorcycle ever, the BSA Gold Star formed the mainstay of Clubman's racing in the 1950s, while its trials and scrambles derivatives demonstrated the design's versatility by chalking up an equally impressive record in off-road competition. In the early post-war years BSA's top trials rider was the Irish star Bill Nicholson who, together with rider/engineer Brian Martin, would develop the B32/34 and later ZB Gold Star into formidable trials machines.

BSA factory records show that a rigid-framed Gold Star with frame number 'BB32 R 105' and engine number 'BB34 GS 249' left the factory on 13th August 1953 consigned to 'Griffiths' in Birmingham (Mr Griffiths was employed in BSA's Service Department). According to a BSA Gold Star OC letter on file, the engine had been supplied originally in a plunger-framed machine on 3rd July 1953 and then was reissued in 'BB32 R 105' the following month. This letter goes on to state that 'BSA (reportedly) on occasion used old reg numbers and stamped up the details to match the logbook'.

Bob Gardiner later discovered that this has been done by another BSA employee, Mike Martin, brother of the more famous Brian, accomplished rider/engineer and the Competitions Department manager. Bob had visited Mike in 1994 and obtained his first-hand account of the machine's history (see letter on file). Bought from Griffiths, 'NOV 474' was prepared in the BSA Competitions Department by the Martin brothers for Mike to ride as a private entry in the 1958 ISDT in Garmisch, Germany. Mike had been riding the rigid Goldie for a few years in trials and scrambles, and in 1958 was able to purchase - at a staff discount – a new and unused swinging-arm frame, which was stamped to match the existing documentation.

Brian too was competing at the '58 ISDT, on his works Gold Star, but unfortunately neither of the Martins finished the event as both machines succumbed to electrical problems. In 1962 Mike Martin converted the engine to accept the later CB-type 'big-fin' top end. Mike rode the BSA in that year's Welsh Three Days Trial, coming away with a Silver Medal. He also rode a BSA registered 'NOV 474' in that year's ISDT in Germany, but that was a 350 carrying this 500's number plates! Sadly, his second ISDT outing resulted in another 'DNF'.

In 1963, 'NOV 474' was sold, disappearing from view until circa 1968/1969 when it was acquired by Mike Bradbrooke, who had the machine rebuilt by Gordon Bartlett and rode it in the 1972 Welsh International 2 Day Trial (programme on file). In 1983, Bradbrooke sold the BSA to Bill Moran (Don Morley's solicitor), who owned it until his death in 1992 whereupon Mike Bradbrooke bought back it from his widow. 'NOV 474' next changed hands in 1994, passing via Brian Verrall to Bob Gardiner. Further details may be found in the machine's history file, which also contains expired MoTs, V5 and V5C documents, etc.

Representing a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine BSA Gold Star with factory connections and in-period competition history, 'NOV 474' retains many original ISDT features, including painted-on scrutineering marks.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Contacts
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)
The ex-Mike Martin; 1958 ISDT, 1953 BSA 500cc Gold Star Trials Frame no. BB32 R 105 Engine no. BB34 GS 249 (appears re-stamped)
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