Auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields are pleased to announce its sponsorship of the second annual ‘Legend of the Motorcycle’ Concours d’Elegance, and as a first-time sale, an auction of more than 40 vintage motorcycles and related memorabilia. The Saturday, May 5, 2007 offering will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, CA. Featured are bikes from the most distinguished manufacturers, including BMW, Harley-Davidson and Ducati, as well as desirable bikes by Moto-Reve and Indian, Excelsior and Henderson.
This sale will include a rare opportunity — the world’s third-largest auctioneer will offer to bidders the United Kingdom, European Union and Japanese rights to the trademark and company name ‘Brough Superior Engineering Limited’ and its associated logos. Legendary super bike of the “Golden Age” (the “between-the-Wars years”), the Brough Superior marque has been referred to as the “Rolls-Royce of motorcycles.” Subsequent to George Brough’s death in 1970, his company was reorganized and its name changed in November 1974 from ‘George Brough Limited’ to ‘Brough Superior Engineering Limited.’ It is the rights to the latter name that are to be offered.
Also included in the sale is the minute book of the Board of Directors of George Brough Limited, and the registered office’s brass nameplate bearing the company’s legend. The marque’s two distinctive and instantly recognizable logos (both with and without the surrounding oval) also are included in the sale as are the rights to the brough-superior.com Internet domain name. Interested parties are encouraged to review special conditions of sale related to the lot, its estimate set at $220,000 to $250,000.
Featured bikes include several BMW models of the 1950s and ’60s, as well as a 1928 BMW 500cc R57, one of only 1,006 bikes built (est. $40/45,000). Five Harley-Davidson bikes include a 1946 Knucklehead and a shiny highly-chromed 1958 Harley-Davidson 74ci FLH Dresser customized in the late 1950s (est. $30/50,000).
From a prominent East Coast collection come four handsome bikes with sidecars: a 1937 Harley-Davidson UL with Harley-Davidson sidecar (est. $18/28,000), a 1946 Indian Chief with sidecar (est. $17/27,000), a 1948 Indian Chief with sidecar obtained in 2003 at Bonhams & Butterfields’ Edwin C Jameson Sale, and a 1966 BMW 594cc R69s with a Steib S500 sidecar (est. $12/22,000). The BMW is offered with a picnic basket outfitted with full china service, perfect for a weekend outing for two.
From another collection, a 1923 Norton 633cc Big Four with sidecar is to be offered without reserve, its estimate riding at $14,000 to $20,000. Also offered with no reserve is a 1921 Clyno 925ci V-Twin with sidecar painted in grey and black livery, with lettering and lining in blue.
Indians include a 1937 Chief “Cut Down Bobber,” a model wildly popular with US servicemen returning from WWII, expected to bring $40,000 to $45,000. Collector interest is expected for a 1929 Indian-Crocker 45ci overhead-value conversion, one of only seven bikes built in the mid-1990s by master bike-builder Gwen Banquer, the only bike from this series ever publicly offered for sale. Banquer fitted the Al Crocker overhead-value kit onto an Indian 101 Scout and the bike is expected to sell for as much as $90,000. A 1912 Indian Twin 7 hp which has had only two owners in the past 52 years could bring as much as $48,000.
Maintaining its original 1925-applied factory paintwork is a 1926 Excelsior Super X (est. $35/40,000) while a bike seen as an engineering masterpiece for its time, a 1914 Henderson four cylinder motorbike, could bring as much as $70,000.
One of several historic bikes, The ex-Syd Turnstall 1973 Ducati 750 Sport 885cc racing bike – known as “Old Yello,” was ridden to win several races in the 1970s and took the checkered flag in 1976 at the very last Open Superbike Race at the Sebring Circuit before it closed. The Von Dutch circa 1964 Triumph 650cc TR6 was customized and autographed by the legendary automotive stylist – it stands as an apt example of the fusion of art and the motorcycle, an appropriate bike to be offered at this year’s Legend of the Motorcycle Concours, estimated at $20,000 to $25,000.
The auction opens with several lots of 1930’s and ’50’s motorcycling posters, several created for the Motorcycle Club of France, as well as oil on enamel works by artist Robert Carter for varied marques such as Norton, Excelsior, Vincent and Indian.
The illustrated auction catalog is online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us. Information on the Concours and the sale is also at www.legendofthemotorcycle.com.