Vintage Bikes Soar to $2.3m at Bonhams

London, UK, September 2, 2008 — The sale of the Brian R. Verrall Collection at Bonhams’s New Bond Street location on September 1 broke two world records before a packed saleroom of 300 enthusiastic bidders, as well as bidders on the phone from round the world.

The first record broken was for lot 264, the ex-Roland Martin, Brooklands, 1927 Zenith-JAP 8/4hp Championship Motorcycle Combination which sold for $315,950. This result set a new record for the sale of a British bike at auction, as well as being a record for a motorcycle with a sidecar. But the record was not to stand for long….

Five minutes later, lot 267, a 1939 Vincent–HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide crashed through the new record with a price of $382,344, topping the record by $66k!

The Bonhams sale confounds the current economic news as motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages from around the globe ensured a complete 100% sell-out for the auction, which totaled $2.3m.

The Brian R. Verrall Collection was considered to be one of the best collections of veteran and vintage motorcycles in the country. The 26 motorcycles collected by the late Brian Verrall, a well-known and highly respected motorcycle dealer, included many rare machines that have never been seen at auction before.

Ben Walker, Head of Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the results achieved. It must also be acknowledged that the success of the sale had much to do with the discrimination and good judgment Brian Verrall had when he built this outstanding collection. His knowledge was paid the respect it was due yesterday. The auction was a wonderful testament to him.”

Brian Verrall started collecting motorcycles in the late 1940s, establishing the London showroom “Youngs of Tooting” in the 1960s, which soon gained a worldwide reputation as the first and finest dealers in veteran, vintage and classic motorcycles. It later became known as the eponymous Verralls of Tooting. In 1991, Brian moved to Handcross in West Sussex and continued his business in larger premises – a range of 18th century buildings comprising showrooms and workshops.

Bonhams has already sold over $6m worth of collectors’ motorcycles in the past five months, breaking many records in the process.


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