Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260

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Lot 474
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S
Registration no. not registered Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260

Sold for £ 29,900 (US$ 38,134) inc. premium
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking
1961 BMW 597cc R69S
Registration no. not registered
Frame no. 652285
Engine no. 6555260
• Also believed to have won the Thruxton 500-mile, Barcelona 24 Hours, and Silverstone 1,000-kilometre races
• Present ownership since 1999
• Professionally restored circa 2006-2008

The R69S offered here is reputedly that which was used by the UK BMW dealer, MLG, to set 12- and 24-hour records at the Montlhéry circuit in France in March 1961. It comes with a letter of authenticity from Charles Lock (the 'L' of MLG) stating that '6555260' is one of two such machines built by him at MLG and is that used for the successful record attempt. However, it should be noted that BMWs of this type should have six-digit serial numbers, not seven, and that the frame and front suspension differs in several respects from that of the record-breaker as it appeared in 1961. Possible explanations are that the engine was built using replacement crankcases (supplied blank and then incorrectly stamped) and that the frame has been replaced, possibly as a result of accident damage suffered while racing.

MLG's rider team for its 1961 record attempt comprised Ellis Boyce, George Catlin, John Holder, and Sid Mizen. The R69S was fitted with a specially made Peel dolphin fairing and a Marchal headlamp to supplement the circuit lighting during night time. Other modifications included removing all unnecessary equipment, while the engine was built up with high-compression Mahle pistons and fitted with long megaphones incorporating silencers. A pad over the rear of the fuel tank enabled the rider to 'lay' on the machine for considerable periods while still remaining comfortable.

The first 12 hours were completed at an average speed of 109.39mph and the full 24 at a barely reduced 109.24mph. Although beaten by Velocette for the honour of being first to complete 24 hours at over 100mph, the MLG team had the satisfaction exceeding the week-old record by almost 10mph. A distance of 2,622 miles was covered and new records set in both the 750cc and 1,000cc classes.

MLG's record-breaking R69S was tested the following month by Motor Cycling magazine, the fortunate journalist being none other than Bruce Main-Smith. BM-S reported: 'The big "Bee-Em" was immediately at home on the high-speed banking, so akin to its recent habitat at Montlhéry, France. With the tester making full use of the dolphin, the rearward rests, the racing seat and with his body draped over the massive tummy-cum-chest pad, a succession of flying laps repeatedly flung the record-breaker through the "magic eyes" at 118mph. At this speed the mount was as steady as a modern liner with stabilising fins.'

Charles Lock's aforementioned letter states that, with the engine suitably re-tuned, the R69S enjoyed further successes in 1961, winning the Thruxton 500-mile, Barcelona 24 Hours, and Silverstone 1,000-kilometre races.

Its subsequent history and ownership is not known. The accompanying documents file takes up the story in the form of a sales receipt dated 16th March 1999 when the current vendor purchased the BMW from one Mrs J B Clark. A hand-written note on file dated 5th February 2009 states that her late husband Mr Ken Clark had bought the machine 'over 20 years ago' from a Mr Veray. There are also documents and bills present relating to a professional restoration carried out during 2006-2008, which included fitting a new Peel-type fairing supplied by Sprint Manufacturing. The history file also contains other correspondence; a selection of photographs; a quantity of photocopies literature; and copies of various magazines featuring this machine.

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
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
Reputedly ex-MLG, World Record-breaking, 1961 BMW 597cc R69S Frame no. 652285 Engine no. 6555260
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