2x World Champ “URS” Sidecar to be Offered at Bonhams Stafford Auction

19th August 2010—Bonhams annual sale of Collectors’ Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford on 17th October will include the historic racing motorcycle on which the legendary Helmut Fath won the Sidecar World Championship in 1968 and with which Horst Owesle took the title in 1971.

World Champion in 1960 riding a privately entered BMW, Helmut Fath spent the next few years out of racing following a serious injury. Rebuffed by the German manufacturer on his return, he set about building his own four-cylinder “URS” racing engine, which took its name from the village of Ursenbach in Germany where the project was conceived. The URS was plagued by teething troubles in its first two seasons but delivered Fath his sweet revenge in 1968, when he and passenger Wolfgang Kalauch beat BMW-mounted Johann Attenberger to take the World Championship. In 1969 another serious injury enforced Fath’s retirement from the sport but the URS was not done yet. Horst Owesle took over the drive and after a promising debut season which saw him finish 7th in the 1970 World Championship, he and passenger Peter Rutterford secured the URS’s second World title the following year.
Estimate: $109,502-125,145.

The URS is offered from an important UK private collection together with another unique post-war racing motorcycle: the 500cc URS-engined Seeley prototype that John Blanchard rode to 4th place in the 1967 Ulster Grand Prix and which was raced later in 750cc form by Tony Jefferies.
Estimate: $93,859-109,502.

Divided into two separate lots, a vast quantity of URS spares is on offer also, sufficient to build several additional engines.
Estimate: $7,821-15,643 each.

Offered from the same collection is the actual 1977 MV Agusta 832cc Monza superbike that was tested by The Motor Cycle magazine at 147mph, making it the fastest production machine in the world at that time. Five owners and 6,612 miles from new.
Estimate: $46,929-54,751.

The Sammy Miller Museum in New Milton offersthree of its machines: a 1933 AJS 496cc Model 34 ($15,643-18,771), a 1934 Matchless 596cc Silver Hawk V-Four ($46,929-54,751) and a 1922 Velocette 220cc EL3 Lady’s Model ($5,475-7,039). The AJS and Matchless have been totally restored by the Museum’s own workshops to their customary impeccable standard, while the Velocette is presented in original and unrestored condition.

Six Vincents are offered by the same private collector: a 1954 Black Shadow Series C ($62,572-78,215), c.1948 Rapide Series B ($26,593-31,286), 1949 Rapide Series C ($26,593-31,286), 1955 Rapide Series D ($28,157-34,414), 1969 Egli-Comet ($12,514-18,771) and 1951 Comet Series C ($12,514-15,643).

The selection of collectible Japanese bikes includes a 1960 Lilac 300cc Lancer ($5,944-6,570), 1959 Yamaguchi 49cc AP10 Autopet ($4,380-4,692), 1971 Bridgestone 350cc GTO ($6,257-7,039), 1966 Marusho 499cc Magnum ($5,475-7,039), 1956 Yamaha 125cc YA2 ($3,910-4,692) and 1959 Yamaha 125cc YA3 ($3,910-4,692). A 1919 Royal Ruby 269cc ($6,257-7,821) and 1953 Jonghi 250cc ($3,910-4,692), believed to be the only example in the UK, are offered by the same vendor.

Other noteworthy machines include a restored 1929 Brough Superior OHV 680 ($101,680-117,323); a one-owner 1967 Velocette Venom Thruxton ($23,464-28,157); and an ex-Robert Dunlop 1988 Honda RS125 ($12,514-18,771).

Automobilia highlights include a limited edition Graham London “TT Watch” awarded to Manxman Dave Molyneux (14 times TT winner) for his and passenger Dan Sayle’s win in the 2009 Sidecar Race ‘A’ ($3,910-5,475); Junior and Senior Isle of Man TT race programmes dating from 1914 ($625-938 each); and a Brooklands silver motorcycle trophy awarded to competitor and author Charles Mortimer together with two of his books, Brooklands: Behind the Scenes and Racing a Sports Car ($234-312).

For sale enquiries please contact Ben Walker on 08700 273616 or ben.walker@bonhams.com


Tony Piff

SCM Auctions Editor and Photographer

Tony has long trumpeted the virtues of collecting Japanese cars. His daily driver is a 1970 Toyota Hilux — the one with the turn signals on top of the fenders. His popular “Rising Sun” column keeps a pulse on the J-tin market.

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