The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098

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Lot 319
The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials
Registration no. 486 BOC Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098
£ 6,000 - 8,000
US$ 7,800 - 10,000

Lot Details
The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098 The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098 The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098 The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098 The ex-works; Jeff Smith, 1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials Frame no. C15S 1893 Engine no. C15T 1098
The ex-works; Jeff Smith
1960 BSA 250cc C15T Trials
Registration no. 486 BOC
Frame no. C15S 1893
Engine no. C15T 1098
• Ridden by Jeff Smith in the 1963 British Experts Trial (the last of any importance he won)
• First registered to the Birmingham Small Arms Co Ltd
• An older restoration
• Owned by Bob Gardiner since 2012

'Equally at home in trials or scrambles, Jeff Smith won the British Experts three times, the British Trials Championship twice, the Scottish Six Days once, plus just about every other national event, sometimes more than once, in the fixture list over a period from 1950 to the mid-Sixties.' – Ralph Venables, British Trials Motorcycles. The supremely versatile Smith also found time to win the World Motocross Championship twice in between his trials-riding activities.

With its heavyweight B32 and B34 models becoming increasingly un-competitive, BSA had begun developing a trials version for the lightweight C15 '250' roadster in the late 1950s, before the latter's official launch. The trials C15 made its official debut at the start of the 1959 season when Jeff Smith secured a remarkable victory in the St David's Trial. Smith followed this up with wins in the Scott and Perce Simon events, and at the season's end the model was offered to customers for 1960 'as ridden by the works'. In production form the C15T incorporated many design compromises that were not inflicted on the works bikes, which continued their run of success throughout the 1960 season. The following year, experiments began with bikes using the 343cc B40 engine in the C15T frame, one such prototype winning the Scottish Six Days 350cc cup in 1963 courtesy of Jeff Smith.

In a letter on file written to Ian Wilson, Jeff Smith's cousin, Jeff states: 'The last trial of any importance which I won was the 1963 Experts. That was on 486 BOC. The engine at that time was a 250 with the mushroom distributor. The frame may well have been one of our early MX versions (ultimately becoming the 420-440-Victor).

'The history after 1963 is rather chequered and based for the time being on memory... Almost certainly I did fit various engines into the frame. A 350 at one stage and later on a 440. However, I was never happy with the larger engines mainly I think because the flywheel weights were too light and hence the engines were not smooth. Inevitably, I went back to the 250 after only a few rides on the bigger engines.'

'486 BOC' come with its original logbook recording the Birmingham Small Arms Co Ltd as first owner, and Jeff Smith as '1st change' in October 1968. The last (7th change) owner listed is Anthony Allison of Patrick Brompton, Yorkshire, who acquired the BSA in June 1974.

From other documents on file it can be deduced that '486 BOC' was purchased by Bill Hall and registered in his name on 1st September 2006 (see V5C). A display card on file states: 'This bike was purchased in Lancashire in about 2007, in a sorry state and in bits, not even big ones. It came with a B40 engine, but a 250cc engine was rebuilt and put in the frame.' Bob Gardiner, the BSA's next registered keeper, acquired the machine on 9th February 2012.

The accompanying history file contains the aforementioned logbook and letter; a current V5C document; photocopies of the many publications that have featured Jeff Smith and '486 BOC'; and a photograph of the bike, signed by Jeff.

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.
Activities
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Saturday 27 April
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Sunday 28 April
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