Bonhams Unveils The Holy Grail Of Classic Motorcycles Staff
by Staff
1928 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Image: Bonhams

Bonhams has recently unveiled a significant find in the world of classic motorcycles: a 1928 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sport. This model, estimated to sell for between £140,000 and £180,000, is one of the most sought-after motorcycles due to its matching-numbers status and historical significance. The motorcycle, which has been hidden away by its owner for decades, was found in a remarkably preserved state. Upon inflating its tires, it rolled out of its storage effortlessly and is now ready for a new owner who appreciates its storied past.

Originally supplied by George Brough to Shell Mex Ltd, this SS100 was registered to Malcolm Vincent Amble, the Chief Motor Engineer at Shell Marketing Ltd. It likely served as a company vehicle or promotional tool. In 1931, it was sold to P Platts in Manchester, possibly Percy Platt of Oldham. Among its notable owners was Clem Beckett, a speedway rider, trade unionist, and member of the Communist Party. Beckett, known for his daring stunts and wall of death performances, later fought and died in the Spanish Civil War.

Harold L Biggs, a well-known pre-war mechanic, also owned the SS100. During the 1950s, Harry Muckalt modified the engine, increasing its capacity to 1,134cc. The motorcycle changed hands several times before being acquired by its last owner in 1982 for £2,400, remaining largely out of public view until now. The upcoming auction presents a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a piece of motorcycle history.

1936 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Image: Bonhams

In addition to the Brough Superior, the auction features another rare motorcycle: the 1936 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A, estimated at £240,000 to £280,000. Only 78 of these motorcycles were produced before World War II, making it an exceptionally rare find. This particular model is the second one built and the oldest surviving complete example. It was displayed at the 1936 Olympia Motorcycle Show and subsequently used for promotional purposes. After the war, it passed through various owners before undergoing an 18-year restoration completed in 2017. The restored motorcycle was awarded ‘Best Machine of Technical Interest’ at the International Classic Motorcycle Show in Stafford that year.

Also confirmed for Bonhams' Autumn Stafford Sale is the 1913 Wilkinson 830cc TMC Four, with an estimated value of £80,000 to £100,000. Wilkinson, better known for its razor blades, produced a limited number of high-quality motorcycles. The TMC, launched in 1912, featured an 830cc water-cooled engine and bevel gear drive. This particular motorcycle, registered in 1914, has a rich history, including ownership by World War I dispatch rider Roland Beckett and a meticulous restoration by Richard Mummery in the 1980s. It has participated in numerous historic motorcycle events and remains in excellent condition, accompanied by extensive historical documentation.

Bonhams' upcoming auction offers a unique chance for collectors to acquire these rare and historically significant motorcycles. The event is set to take place at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in Stafford on October 12-13, 2024.

This article was co-written using AI and was then heavily edited and optimized by our editorial team. Staff Staff presents an unrivaled combination of bike reviews and news written by industry experts

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