The Best Of British At Bonhams Motorcycles Winter Sale


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An exclusive collection of more than 50 British motorcycles and motorcycle-related cars, direct from The National Motorcycle Museum, will be offered at the highly-anticipated Bonhams Motorcycles Winter Sale on the weekend of 5-6 December at Bicester Heritage.

The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection showcases the most evocative names from the golden era of British motorcycling – and beyond – from Ariel and Velocette to Triumph and Vincent, via Norton and Royal Enfield.

1990 Norton F1, estimate £20,000 – 30,000


Among the Nortons offered are two models inspired by the company’s racing partnership with John Player Special, a 1990 Norton F1, estimate £20,000 – 30,000 and a 1974 950cc JPN Replica, estimate £8,000 – 12,000.

1960 Triumph T120, estimate £10,000 – 15,000


Triumph is represented by an early example of its quintessential post-war ‘Bonneville’, a 1960 T120, estimate £10,000 – 15,000, and a trio of Valmoto Racing Motorcycles from the 2003 season, all estimated at £16,000 – 20,000. 


1982 Hesketh Vampire, estimate £15,000 – 25,000


More unusual offerings include the oldest surviving Hesketh Vampire from 1982, estimate £15,000 – 25,000, a luxury super tourer which was the brainchild of Lord Hesketh, founder of the eponymous and flamboyant 1970s Formula One racing team.


1921 Douglas 10hp car, estimate £10,000 – 15,000


The collection also includes a quartet of cars or cycle cars produced by motorcycle manufacturers, including the believed sole surviving 1921 Douglas 10hp car, one of only six built. Formerly the property of the late Lt. Col ‘Tiny’ Ayers, it is offered in a good restored condition, with an odometer reading of 3,834 miles, its estimate is £10,000 – 15,000.

The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull is recognised as the largest exhibitor of British motorcycles, with 1000 machines fully-restored to their original specification representing 170 different marques spanning 120 years of motorcycle manufacturing in the British Isles.

James Hewing, Director, The National Motorcycle Museum, said: “We are pleased to be offering enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to acquire motorcycles from our Reserve Collection, with those that have been restored in our own workshop having a solid silver plaque fitted to them confirming the provenance.

“This year’s events have given us the time to assess our reserve and duplicate inventory, and we can now look forward to reopening having freed up some desperately needed storage space.”

Ben Walker, International Department Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles,“We are delighted to have been entrusted with this premium patriotic collection from such a prestigious name in the motorcycle world.”

The National Motorcycle Museum Collection will line up with a trio of other important one-owner collections, synonymous with Bonhams motorcycle sales, representing a diverse range of classic and vintage motorcycle marques and models.

The Connoisseur Collection, led by a brace of Brough Superiors, (a 1937 Brough Superior 11-50HP and a 1937 Brough Superior SS80, both with estimates of £50,000 – 60,000), offers numerous blue-chip examples from the estate of a late motorcycle connoisseur.


1937 Brough Superior 11-50HP, estimate £50,000 – 60,000


The Competition Collection of trials bikes is headlined by the Ex-Works: Ron Langston 1958 ISDT Ariel HT5 (£10,000 – 15,000), a class-leading heavyweight trials iron and a gold medal winner at the ‘58 ISDT.


The Competition Collection


The final collection consigned so far comes direct from Carole Nash, a stalwart of the motorcycle community and founder of the namesake and industry leading motorcycle insurer, which includes a 1914 BSA 4 1/4hp Model H Motorcycle Combination (£14,000 – 18,000), offered in barn-find condition.


Veteran and Vintage highights including those from The Carole Nash Collection


The Winter Sale will be a live and online auction, with an auctioneer at the rostrum, with bids accepted online, by telephone or by absentee bids.

The sale will be on view in the 50,000 sq ft former RAF Bomber Station hangar at Bicester Heritage, with pre-sale viewing between 3 and 5 December by appointment only:

Thursday 3 December 09:00 – 17:00

Friday 4 December 09:00 – 17:00

Saturday 5 December 09:00 – 17:00


Further entries are invited until 30 October. Visit to submit a complimentary auction appraisal request or contact the Bicester Motorcycle Office +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 to discuss the sale of your important motorcycle(s).


Sale: The Winter Sale (Motorcycles)
Location: Bicester Heritage, Bicester
Date: 5 and 6 December 2020


Highlights from The National Motorcycle Museum Collection: 


1921 DOUGLAS 10hp car, one of only six built, estimate £10,000 – 15,000

Formerly the property of the late Lt. Col ‘Tiny’ Ayers, it is offered in a good restored condition, with an odometer reading of 3,834 miles.


1982 HESKETH VAMPIRE, estimate £15,000 – 25,000 

A name more known for his flamboyant Grand Prix team with James Hunt as its driver in the 1970s, the patriotic Lord Hesketh turned his attention to the British motorcycle industry which was at a low ebb during that decade.

Believing there was a place in the market for a luxury two-wheeled tourer – an updated Brough Superior – he had the Hesketh V1000 designed, powered by a 992cc V-twin engine and sporting the Hesketh family crest as its logo. The sole derivative of the original V1000 was the even rarer Vampire, a super tourer with fairing designed by John Mockett, with this example being reported as the oldest surviving.


1990 NORTON F1, estimate £20,000 – 30,000  

Unveiled as a prototype at the 1989 Motorcycle Show, the F1 was born out of a resurrected old design-study known as ‘Project 55’. A super sports bike with a water-cooled rotary engine, the F1 had a livery derived from the era’s John Player Special racing motorcycles. During the two years of production, only 140 F1 motorcycles were built. This example has covered just 21,188 miles.


1974 NORTON 850cc JPN REPLICA, estimate £8,000 – 12,000

An earlier model also inspired by John Player’s sponsorship of the Norton road race team’s, the 1974 JPN Commando model was one of the first factory café racers. Featuring endurance-race style bodywork, including a streamlined twin-headlight half-fairing and matching tank/seat unit in the John Player livery, the JPN commanded a premium over the standard Commando model. Only produced for one year, a total of between 200 and 300 were built.


1928 SUNBEAM TT MODEL 90, estimate £22,000 – 28,000 

From the early days of production, Sunbeam motorcycles earned a reputation for sporting prowess and evolved into the most formidable racing machines of the vintage era. The 500cc TT Model 90 in particular was more than a match for anything in its class. This ‘bull nose’ example was first registered in 1927, the year that the works riders team won the Manufacturer’s Team Prize in the Isle of Man Senior TT.


1960 TRIUMPH T120 BONNEVILLE, estimate £10,000 – 15,000

An early example of the quintessential post-war British production motorcycle. This T120 was restored by the museum and has covered just 554 miles since.

2003 TRIUMPH VALMOTO RACING MOTORCYCLES, estimate £16,000 – 20,000

In 2003, Triumph returned to motorcycle racing after more than 30 years, teaming up with the specialist racing company Valmoto, by running race versions of the Daytona 600 model in the 2003 British Supersport Championship. During the debut year, the two-man team of Callum Ramsey and Jim Moodie picked up a podium finish and pole position. The following year the sole rider, the late Craig Jones, finished the season with a fairy tale win at the last round at Donington Park.

The three riders’ racing motorcycles are now offered in ‘as is’ condition and all with an estimate of £16,000 – 20,000.


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