1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514

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Lot 128
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon'
Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514

Sold for US$ 11,500 inc. premium
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon'
Frame no. CL350-5015786
Engine no. CL350E-5035514
· Little-known, super-rare factory Custom Paint Set option
· Museum-worthy presentation by Vintage Motorcycle Rescue
· Many NOS parts, including exhaust and seat
· Just over 7,000 miles from new

The term 'museum piece' is rarely used in conjunction with Honda's CL350, a ubiquitous 1970s street scrambler sold in the tens of thousands. Unless that CL350 has been restored by Don Stockett's Vintage Motorcycle Rescue, that is, and topped off by distinctive and super-rare 'Flying Dragon' bodywork. In fact, the last CL350 Flying Dragon offered by the California shop is now part of the permanent collection at the prestigious Barber Motorsports Museum in Alabama.

Available only as a special dealer order, the gas tank and side panels were painted in a far-out swirl pattern not unlike the tie-dye T-shirts that were then all the rage. Done in Japan using a dip-transfer process and sold here for installation on CL350s and 450s, each paint job was different, much like a fingerprint. Four U.S. market color combinations were offered – silver/purple as seen here, green/purple, gold/purple and blue/dark blue. The finished product resembled the patterns on custom Damascus knife blades, or to some eyes the scaling seen on ancient Japanese paintings of dragons, hence the Flying Dragon nickname for the paint set.

Because Vintage Motorcycle Rescue specializes in CL350s, Stockett has become something of an expert on Flying Dragons. He estimates that perhaps as few as 20 of the painted sets still exist, that rarity due to the initial high cost of the option. At a time when a new CL350 listed for about $900, a customer would have to fork over an additional $245 for the Flying Dragon bodywork, which explains the low number ordered. Today a new-in-box set commands an asking price in the multiple thousands of dollars.

The silver/purple Dragon on offer here began as a very solid K5 base bike that was then the recipient of one of the shop's concours-quality rebuilds. Stockett was saving a hens-tooth rare NOS exhaust system for a special project like this, likewise the NOS seat – even the tires are original-fitment Bridgestone Safety Super 10's. The original fenders were bolted back in place after first being treated to a new plating of show-chrome. Crowning touch, though, is the NOS Flying Dragon gas tank and side panels, elevating the CL350's desirability manyfold and making it a standout at any show field or museum lineup.

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
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
1973 Honda CL350 'Flying Dragon' Frame no. CL350-5015786 Engine no. CL350E-5035514
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For MOTORCYCLE property (Lots 101-211) 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 1-16) 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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