Stafford Show: Bonhams auction

By James Robinson, 26 April 2012.
TT-winning BSA sidecar outfit is one of the star lots at Bonhams auction
TT-winning BSA sidecar outfit is one of the star lots at Bonhams auction

Machines with TT pedigree look set to top the bill during the popular Bonhams auction, held on the Sunday at this weekend's 32nd Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show in Stafford. Remember admission to the sale is by catalogue only...

Star lot is the BSA sidecar outfit used by Chris Vincent, with Eric Bliss in the chair, to win the 1962 Sidecar TT, beating a host of BMWs to the finish. Built by Vincent in 1959, the BSA used an A7 engine for its TT win, though this was swapped about with a 650cc A10 motor, as and when regulations allowed/demanded. Later, unit A50 and A65 engines were also fitted; nowadays, it runs an A10 engine.

As well as its TT triumph, the combo won many British championship races, setting fastest laps up and down the country. Fully restored, in the last few years it has been paraded at home and abroad.

The other TT associated machine is a rare 1927 ex-works, 498cc Triumph. After years of mixed success with its four-valve racing Ricardo, Triumph took a fresh approach and turned to Brooklands ace Victor Horsman, with the mandate of making a new, fast, two-valve racer.

What emerged was effectively this machine, good enough for Tommy Simister to come third at a speed of over 65mph. This bike is thought to have been one of the works entries for that year. Further motorcycles are coming from County Wicklow based Harry Lindsay, well-known collector, rider, restorer, importer and all-round motorcycling enthusiast. Numbering more than 30 machines, they range from various vintage machines, through a collection of cammy Nortons, a V-twin Vincent and several 500T Nortons, including a pre-production swinging arm prototype.

Crocker V-twin motorcycleLook out, too, for three Crocker V-twins being shown by Bonhams, prior to being whisked away for sale in the States in August. Designed to top 100mph and defeat the Harley-Davidsons and Indians of the day, they were manufactured between 1936 and 1941, since when they’ve become the Holy Grail for American classic motorcycle enthusiasts.

Known as the ‘Duesenberg of motorcycles’, Crocker is the definitive American motorcycle – handmade, powerful and fast. Very much a Hollywood ‘hot rod’ bike, Crocker was created in, and shaped by, the culture of pre-war Los Angeles, California, by former Indian distributor Al Crocker. When it debuted in 1936, the upstart founder brazenly challenged Harley-Davidson, boasting of superior technology, performance, handling and raw power. In fact, Al Crocker famously advertised that if any of his bikes was ever beaten by a stock Harley, he would refund the owner’s money. (No refunds were ever requested.)

Of course, there are lots more machines for sale throughout the day, so don’t miss out! Admission to the sale is by catalogue only.

For more details, visit www.bonhams.com or call 08700 273616.

Visit the online Show guide
► See Stafford Show plan
► See forthcoming Shows
Giacomo Agostini at Stafford
Honda GB500TT competition
See and hear Honda GB500TT (video)
Win a Can-Am enduro bike!
Stafford picture gallery (2011)