c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece" Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485

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Lot 187
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece"
Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485

Sold for US$ 4,600 inc. premium
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece"
Frame no. DMV42985CA
Engine no. CB500E-1025485
Released in 1974, the Honda CB550 was an updated version of the CB500, with the specific goal of fixing some of the problems that the bike was having. Stakes were important since the 500cc segment was probably one of the most important, being the perfect balance between the heavyweight 750cc and the low-powered 350cc bikes. Sharing the same in-line four cylinders' engine as its predecessor, the CB550 had its capacity increased to 544cc, now producing 50hp.

Already in the 1970s, some people saw an opportunity to re-create bikes in an artistic way; this CB550 'Mentlepiece' is a perfect example of this. Being a unique piece, the bike was notably featured in Cycle magazine in November 1975. The engine and safety components were modified and hand-picked by the owner himself, Howard Blau and made the 550cc engine a real racing machine bumping the capacity to 590cc. From there, Blau also wanted to get a unique look and frame. He decided to ask Chet Page, a design engineer based in Huntington Beach, CA, to help him in that quest. Page basically produced a frame, tank, seat, and nearly everything visible on the bike other than the engine. From there was born the Mantlepiece. The bike belonged to a Private Collection after that, kept as an art piece, and is now for sale in a supposedly unrestored condition. An original copy of the November 1975 Cycle magazine will be given to the buyer.

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.

Saleroom notices

  • Please be advised that the original engine specification of this motorcycle was a 498cc CB500, but the engine displacement was increased by the builder to 590cc according to the included magazine article. Offered on a Bill of sale.
Contacts
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece" Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece" Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece" Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485
c.1973 Honda CB550 "The Mantlepiece" Frame no. DMV42985CA Engine no. CB500E-1025485
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

PLEASE NOTE: THE BUYER'S PREMIUM FOR THIS AUCTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

For MOTORCYCLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the hammer price exceeding $100,000. Buyers are required to pay any applicable import duty, sales or use tax, as the case may be.

For MEMORABILIA property (Lots 1-22) the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

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