Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire  Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053

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Lot 250
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire
Registration no. WCP 111X Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053

Sold for £ 16,100 (US$ 22,217) inc. premium
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection
1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire
Registration no. WCP 111X
Frame no. unable to locate
Engine no. 0053
• Rare Hesketh variant
• An older restoration
• Dry stored since 1994

Brainchild of wealthy aristocrat and Formula 1 team owner Alexander, Lord Hesketh, the Hesketh V1000 promised to be an all-new British superbike in the Vincent mould. The proposed design had all the right ingredients: 1,000cc 8-valve Weslake v-twin engine, nickel-plated Reynolds 531 frame, Brembo brakes and Astralite wheels; if only they'd got Rod Quaife to design the gearbox... Rushed into production before it was ready, the V1000 was panned by the critics - the gearbox in particular - and when the receivers pulled the plug in 1982 only 170 had been made. The sole derivative of the original V1000 was the even rarer Vampire, a super tourer equipped with fairing designed by John Mockett.

Small-scale production was restarted later by successor-company Hesleydon Ltd at the Hesketh family seat at Easton Neston where, over the years, development engineer Mick Broom managed to eradicate virtually all the V1000s shortcomings. Mick continued to provide a service to the small but dedicated band of owners of this most exclusive British motor cycle from new premises at Turweston Airfield near Brackley, Northamptonshire. In September 2008, he put the business up for sale, and the Hesketh side of Broom Development Engineering was acquired by Mr Paul Sleeman. The business relocated to the south of England where it was intended to continue the service to Hesketh owners.

Some 35 years on, the Hesketh is regarded somewhat differently, and nowadays is considered highly collectible on account of its rarity and status as one of the British motorcycle industry's more fascinating 'might have beens'. And there's no denying that it is one immensely handsome motorcycle.

The sole derivative of the original V1000 was the even rarer Vampire - a super tourer equipped with fairing designed by John Mockett. This example was acquired by the Museum at Bonhams' Stafford Sale in October 2004 (Lot 388, purchase receipt on file). The previous owner had acquired the Vampire in 1989, at which time it was in very poor cosmetic and mechanical condition. Subsequently the cycle parts were refinished to concours standard by Raven Paintwork and the engine - '0053', believed the oldest surviving Vampire unit - rebuilt by Mick Broom. At time of purchase the Hesketh had been in dry storage since 1994. Accompanying documentation includes an owner's manual; restoration bills/records; three expired MoTs; and an old-style V5C. The machine's mechanical condition is not known; accordingly, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to its condition, completeness, correctness, or otherwise prior to bidding.

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 click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 250: click here
Contacts
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire  Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire  Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire  Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053
Offered from the National Motorcycle Museum Collection,1982 Hesketh 992cc Vampire  Frame no. unable to locate Engine no. 0053
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