These two pedigree racers will accompany an astounding line-up
of motorcycles at Bonhams' January event on The Strip

On Friday, January 9th at Bally's Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, two very special racing motorcycles will be presented with what is perhaps the most impressive collection of motorcycles offered at auction in years.

First, the ex-1973 Daytona 200 1972 Butler & Smith BMW F750 – one of only two such factory-supplied, purpose-built machines modified by tuner Udo Geitl of Butler & Smith, the BMW importers for America. The surprisingly fast and powerful R75/5s Geitl uprated for Team Butler & Smith stunned the world and were to help forever change the image of BMW in America from that of a stuffy tourer to a sporting machine, as these were the precursors to the history-making Butler & Smith BMW R90S – also prepped by Geitl – that Reg Pridmore would soon ride to victory and clinch the first-ever Superbike championship title.

This particular F750 was an official entrant in the 1973 Daytona 200 with BMW rider Kurt Leibmann alongside its twin ridden by Reg Pridmore, and is the focus of a feature article written by renowned motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart and his test ride on this rare, beautiful beast at the Barber Motorsports Park in October 2013.

Next is the 1950 Isle of Man Clubman TT-winning 1947 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide ridden to victory by Alex Phillip and subsequently owned by larger-than-life British war hero "Mad Jack" Churchill. Soon after the Isle of Man win, the Rapide was uprated to full Black Lightning specifications and performed, in the words of Phillip, "like a rocketship" before being sold to the daring and eccentric Lt. Colonel Churchill of WWII commando fame.

"We are very pleased to be to have been selected to represent these historic motorcycles at auction, says Nick Smith, on behalf of the Bonhams Motoring Department. "Both machines are quite significant for different reasons and both represent the ultimate in motorcycling: racing at its highest level."

These historically significant motorcycles will join the Silverman Museum Racing Collection of Ducatis and the Pierce Family Museum Collection of Harley-Davidsons – along with many other diverse and important motorcycles – on January 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. To order a catalog and register to bid, in person or remotely, please visit https://www.bonhams.com/vegas


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to https://www.bonhams.com

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