LONDON, ENGLAND (April 21, 2009) – The Cooper Collection of motorcycles mothballed for 30 years will be auctioned by Bonhams on June 20th at their new premises at Kidlington, near Oxford, in association with the world famous VMCC Banbury Run. The bikes range in estimates from $150 to $15,000 and will be sold without reserve.
For three decades the only sound disturbing the silence within the walls of the Cooper’s Warwickshire garage buildings was the rustle of web-spinning spiders amid the tanks and forks and over seventy motor cycles, for the most
part locked away untouched since the 1970’s.
Ben Walker, Head of Bonhams Motorcycle Department says: “The condition of this astonishing collection is as you would expect. It varies widely from ‘excellent’ to ‘project’, with every shade in between. What the collection
will provide is a bike for almost every taste and pocket from a ‘Field Bike’ to be fixed or a rare Scorpion needing work, to an empty chassis to be re-engined, or a DOT or even a ‘Banana’ MZ or Raleigh ‘Runabout’ needing
The Cooper brothers, Bob and Sam (both deceased), were well-known and very successful stalwarts of the West Midland trials and scrambles scene during the 1950s and ‘60s. As part of their joint careers, they ran their popular
motorcycle shop, Cooper Bros. near Wooten Wawen, which dealt mainly in competition bikes. Like so many enthusiasts, the Coopers put unusual bikes and part-exchanges ‘on one side for later’ and many of these are still awaiting their attentions, thirty years on.
The collection is eclectic, going from Ariel – an ‘HT’ Trials machine next to a couple of Ariel ‘3’ mopeds – through to a nice Rickman-Zundapp, with a Norton collection of a ‘54 ‘Manx’, a 500T Trials and a sidevalve 16H, and
many other makes well-represented including a pre-war Coventry-Eagle and a splendid selection from Greeves with Silverstone Racer, Scramblers – or MX if you prefer – to their famous ‘Scottish’ trials bikes.
The majority are British or European in origin and there is also a large amount of spare parts and some memorabilia including three 1930’s Isle of Man ‘TT’ Replicas.