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Bonhams Announces the Robert White Collection

Bonhams 

Photo courtesy Bonhams 

The collection contains a vast treasure trove of collectible mechanical delights worth more than £2 million, including motorcycles, motor cars, vintage Leica cameras, motoring mascots, Lalique, and several rare wristwatches.

Proceeds from the sale of this incredible collection will be used to build new cancer facilities at Poole and Dorset County hospitals, benefiting patients across the whole of the country.

“Robert White was a great man and an enthusiast of all things mechanical. The sale is a showcase of his life’s passion, with more than 500 lots set to raise more than £2 million for charity,” said Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman. “The collection is the result of a life’s passion for photography – Robert was the founder of one of the UK’s leading photographic retailers – and his adoration for motorcycles. We’re delighted to be able to offer this for sale, and for such a great charitable cause.”

It was his love of motorcycles that first connected Robert White his close friend and confidant, the comedian and TV host, Jay Leno.

“They say that you should never be possessed by your possessions; but Robert took more pleasure from his possessions than any man I have ever met,” said Leno. “The evening ritual of winding his George Daniels watch, for example, was an active delight to him as an opportunity to take pleasure in its mechanism.”

Bonhams 

Robert White riding his Gilera 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle recreation at the 2006 Southern 100.
The model is now offered at an estimate of £50,000-60,000.

Photo courtesy Bonhams

The friends bonded over a love of Brough Superior motorcycles, and before Robert died in 2015, he sold his Brough Superiors to Leno. The funds from the Brough Superiors have been used to support the creation of a brand new cancer treatment centre at Dorset County Hospital and new diagnostic facilities at Poole Hospital, both overseen by the latter’s Dorset Cancer Centre.

Leno said: “We spent time together in England before he died. He didn’t feel sorry for himself or ‘woe-is-me’. He realistically faced up to his position and decided he wanted to give something back to the people in Poole Hospital who had helped him with his illness.”

“Robert White loved his motorcycles, and this is no more evident than when we look at the incredible machines he had in his collection,” said Ben Walker, Bonhams Head of Motorcycles. “Robert had his own personal motoring museum and workshop where he took great pleasure in showing people his carefully curated items. He was a true enthusiast who appreciated each and every part of these exhilarating machines.

Motorcycles featured in the collection include:
• c.1929 Megola 640cc Touring Model, estimated at £120,000-140,000
• MV Agusta 500cc 3-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £80,000-100,000
• MV Agusta 500cc 4-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £70,000-90,0000
• 1974 Ducati 750SS, estimated at £60,000-70,000

Robert White

Robert White (1953-2015) was the founder of one of the UK’s leading photographic retailers, having started in business with a small camera shop in Poole, where he was born.

An astute and dedicated businessman, Robert White’s success enabled him to indulge a passion for collecting machines and objects that embodied the finest design and engineering. He loved to ride motorcycles and drive fast cars. He learned to fly and bought a vintage Boeing-Stearman bi-plane to travel round Britain.

He was described by a close friend as: “A modest person who liked the best of what he liked, but was never one for designer clothes and frippery, leaves a legacy that will outlast all of us. The life of Robert will help countless people he has never met. Robert’s illness taught him what is important, and he was in a self-made position to make a life-changing difference.”

Robert White died of cancer in 2015. His consultant oncologist, Dr. Mike Bayne, said: “The impact that Mr. White’s incredible generosity will have to patients facing cancer in Dorset cannot be overstated.

“This lasting legacy will continue to benefit patients and their families for years to come, enabling the people of Dorset to receive the very latest and most effective diagnoses and treatments for a range of cancers, and supporting our skilled clinicians and nursing teams to be among the most advanced in the country. Robert White will forever be associated with advances in cancer care in the county, and on behalf of our patients I would like to express our heartfelt thanks.”

Click here for full auction details.

VanDerBrink Vintage Motorcycle Auction in Iowa

1965 Honda CB160

Fully restored 1965 Honda CB160, one of 65 Hondas to be auctioned. Photo courtesy VanDerBrink Auctions.

VanDerBrink Auction is will auction off 65 vintage Honda motorcycles and parts plus a 1954 Corvette and memorabilia from the Paul Ageson estate on Saturday, July 23, 2016, in Lester, Iowa, starting at 9:30 a.m. The auction lot includes Hondas from the early 1960s up through the late 1970s, many fully restored. There’s even a classic VW-powered trike in the sale! See the complete catalog online at the VanDerBrink auction page.

Bonhams Stafford Sale Smashes Record for British Motorcycle

1932 Brough Superior Model BS4

Lot 296, the ex-Hubert Chantrey 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project. All photos courtesy Bonhams.

• Bonhams Stafford Sale saw the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4 sold for £331,900, setting a new world record for a British motorcycle sold at auction
• The eight long-lost Broughs of Bodmin Moor collectively sold for £752,625
• Best of British: Highlights include the 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project, sold for £270,300, the 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980cc Flying-8 OHV sold for £163,900, and the 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100, sold for £219,900
• The auction achieved an astounding £3,454,501

Bonhams Stafford Sale set a new world record price for a Brough Superior and for any British motorcycle sold at auction, as the gavel fell at an astounding £331,900 for the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4.

The BS4 was the highlight lot in the collection “The Broughs of Bodmin Moor,” which sold 100 percent to achieve a collective £752,625. These iconic, rare British motorcycles were believed to have been destroyed, until Bonhams motorcycle department discovered the eight machines in 2015 in a remote Cornish village. The motorcycles were discovered whole, in parts, and some were partially submerged under decades of dust, old machinery parts and household clutter. Bonhams Stafford sale saw the bikes unveiled for the first time in more than 50 years.

Motorcycles of the 1920s and 1930s largely featured only one cylinder, so when the BS4 launched at the Olympia Motor Cycle Show in 1931, with its engine and gearbox taken from an Austin 7 motor car, it was truly revolutionary for the marque. Only ten BS4 models (aka Brough Superior “four cylinder”) were built, and only seven survive.

Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycle Department, said: “The Broughs of Bodmin Moor are the motorcycle discovery of the decade. They’ve caused quite a stir in the saleroom, with each one far exceeding estimate, allowing us to break our own world record for a British motorcycle sold at auction, the 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4 selling for £331,900 to a German bidder in the room.”

“Having been housed in a Cornwall barn for so many decades, we’re delighted to have brought these machines back into the spotlight,” said Jonathan Vickers, Bonhams West Country motoring specialist. “They’ve sold phenomenally well, cementing Bonhams’ highly successful record breaking reputation in the collectors’ motoring industry.”

1929 Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 OHV

Lot 312, the 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980CC Flying-8 OHV, sold for £163,900.

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Co-Chairman and auctioneer, said: “The Bonhams team have held an auction at the Stafford International Motorcycle show for more than 28 years. The sale is an institution, and one that rightly attracts the attention of motorcycle enthusiasts from across the globe. With a packed saleroom and bids coming in internationally — including a determined bidder who flew in from the antipodes — and several world records achieved, such as for the 1956 Vincent 499cc Comet Series-C/D which sold for £55,200, as well as of course for Brough Superior, it’s been yet another incredible Stafford Sale.”

The Bonhams Sale featured the best of British motorcycles, with Vincent, Coventry-Eagle, and of course the rarest of Brough Superiors leading more than 230 machines to achieve a total £3,454,501.

Further successes of the Sale include the 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project, sold to a European bidder for £270,300; the 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980cc Flying-8 OHV, sold for £163,900, and the c.1959 Norton-JAP 998cc Sprinter “Thor,” sold for £61,990.

For further information on Bonhams motorcycle department visit: www.bonhams.com/motorcycles

1939 Vincent-HRD Series-A Rapide

Lot 313, 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide Project, sold for £270,300.

1939 Brough Superior SS100

Lot 311, ex-Henry Laird, Demonstrator, 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100, sold for £219,900.

Best of British Classic Motorcycles Headline Bonhams Stafford Sale

1929 Coventry-Eagle

Lot 312, the 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980CC Flying-8 OHV. All photos courtesy of Bonhams.

The best of British motorcycles heads to Bonhams Stafford Sale, as Brough Superior, Vincent and Coventry-Eagle lead more than 230 machines at auction on April 23-24 at the International Classic Motorcycle Show, Staffordshire County Showground.

Heading the sale, the 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Rapide Series-A Project, estimated at £150,000-200,000. One of around 78 built, this matching-numbers, ultra-rare TT-specification example benefits from more than 50 years in current ownership, and is completely unrestored. Vincent Motorcycles, marketed as “the makers of the world’s fastest motorcycles,” were built in Hertfordshire from 1928 to 1955, with this particular model an excellent early example.

Ex-Henry Laird 1938 Brough Superior SS100

Lot 311, ex-Henry Laird, Demonstrator, 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100.

From Hertfordshire to Coventry, where the Victorian bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer Coventry-Eagle was established. Coventry-Eagle built a diverse range of motorcycles using mainly JAP engines from 1901 onwards, though machines only began to be produced in significant numbers following the First World War. The 1929 Coventry-Eagle 980cc Flying-8 OHV offered is a rare vintage-era superbike, restored in 2007 and in present ownership since 2008. It is estimated at £140,000-160,000.

The sale also features nine rare models from Nottingham-based Brough Superior, including eight machines from the mysterious collection, the “Broughs of Bodmin Moor.” Unveiled for the first time in more than 50 years, this unusual collection features the mythical ex-Hubert Chantrey, 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4, estimated at £80,000-120,000, arguably one of the most significant British motorcycles ever to come to auction. Also included in the collection are two exceptionally rare SS100s; a 1926 Brough Superior SS100 Project, estimated at £30,000-40,000 and a 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 Project, estimated at £60,000-80,000.

Ex-Hubert Chantrey 1932 Brough Superior

Lot 296, The ex-Hubert Chantrey 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 Project.

James Stensel, Head of Department, Bonhams Motorcycles said: “Only 10 examples of the BS4 left Brough’s Nottingham factory and just seven survive today, of which only three retain their original engines, making ‘GY 989’ exceedingly rare. Equally exciting is the ex-Henry Laird Demonstrator, 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 estimated at £140,000-180,000, one of 32 Matchless SS100s produced for the 1938 season.

1983 Suzuki RGB500

Lot 394, The ex-Barry Sheene, Mick Grant, Heron Suzuki, 1983 Suzuki RGB500 Mark 8 Racing Motorcycle.

“Sunday’s motorcycle sale features more than 230 machines across 60 manufactures. Combined with Saturday’s 185 lots of Spares and Memorabilia (over 50 percent offered at no reserve), this year’s two-day Stafford sale is expected to attract the attention of enthusiasts and collectors from across the globe.”

Further highlights include several important post-war masterpieces, such as the ex-Honda press fleet, 1970 Honda CB750 “KO” Sandcast, estimated at £20,000-30,000; the ex-Francis Williams, Ernie Woods, circa-1959 Norton-JAP 998cc Sprinter “Thor,” estimated at £40,000-50,000; and the ex-Barry Sheene, Mick Grant, Heron Suzuki, 1983 Suzuki RGB500 Mark 8 Racing Motorcycle, estimated at £80,000-100,000.

Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale takes place at Staffordshire County Showground on April 23-24:

Saturday, April 23: Automobilia — start 13:00
Sunday, April 24: Motorcycles — start 11:00

For further information on Bonhams’ motorcycle department visit: www.bonhams.com/motorcycles

2016 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctions Highlights

This 1951 Vincent Series C “Red” White Shadow was the top seller at Bonhams and sold for $434,000. Lot No. 135. All photos by the Motorcycle Classics staff.

A 1951 Vincent Series C “Red” White Shadow and 1912 Henderson commanded the top prices at the Bonhams and Mecum auctions respectively. Other notable sales at the Bonhams auction included a 1924 Henderson for $44,850, 1977 MV Agusta 750S with only 41 miles for $120,500 and Steve McQueen’s 1963 Triumph Bonneville for $103,500. At Mecum, a 1929 Cleveland brought in $115,000, and a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow dragbike sold for $90,000.

This 1912 Henderson fetched the top price at Mecum for $165,000, and is, oddly enough, both the most expensive and third-most expensive Henderson ever sold; the same bike sold for $225,000 in 2015. Lot No. S74.

1975 Suzuki GT750, sold for $2,300 at Bonhams. Lot No. 6.

1981 Suzuki GS1100E, sold for $2,300 at Bonhams. Lot No. 11.

1973 Honda Elsinore, sold for $6,900 at Bonhams. Lot No. 13.

1963 Norton Atlas, sold for $4,370 at Bonhams. Lot No. 18.

1972 Ducati 750GT, sold for $29,900 at Bonhams. Lot No. 48.

1954 Motobi Spring Lasting, sold for $13,800 at Bonhams. Lot No. 79.

1974 Laverda 750SFC, unsold ($55,000) at Bonhams. Lot No. 85.

1950 Moto Guzzi Falcone, sold for $17,250 at Bonhams. Lot No. 96.

1977 MV Agusta 750S, sold for $120,500 at Bonhams. Lot No. 101.

1984 Moto Martin Honda CBX, sold for $13,225 at Bonhams. Lot No. 106.

1924 Henderson, sold for $44,850 at Bonhams. Lot No. 110.

1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR, sold for $14,375 at Bonhams. Lot No. 112.

1929 Harley-Davidson JDH racer, sold for $45,500 at Bonhams. Lot No. 118.

1910 Pioneer, sold for $115,000 at Bonhams. Lot No. 120.

1963 Steve McQueen Triumph Bonneville, sold for $103,500 at Bonhams. Lot No. 121.

1977 Ducati 900SS, sold for $34,500 at Bonhams. Lot No. 131.

1975 Ducati 900SS, sold for $56,350 at Bonhams. Lot No. 136.

1938 Brough Superior, sold for $120,500 at Bonhams. Lot No. 153.

1971 MV Agusta 750S, sold for $115,000 at Bonhams. Lot No. 161.

1982 Triumph Bonneville, sold for $8,625 at Bonhams. Lot No. 163.

Egli Vincent, sold for $69,575 at Bonhams. Lot No. 177.

1964 BSA A5 Cyclone, sold for $3,680 at Bonhams. Lot No. 205.

1949 Vincent Rapide, sold for $55,200 at Bonhams. Lot No. 207.

1948 BSA B33, sold for $2,875 at Bonhams. Lot No. 208.

1992 Bimota Tesi, sold for $20,700 at Bonhams. Lot No. 211.

1996 Bimota DB3 Mantra, sold for $9,200 at Bonhams. Lot No. 214.

1975 Rupp, sold for $7,475 at Bonhams. Lot No. 223.

Egli Vincent, sold for $46,000 at Bonhams. Lot No. 224.

1979 Moto Morini 3.5, sold for $6,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F18.

1972 Honda CB750 chopper, sold for $6,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F21.

1968 Honda Z50, sold for $3,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F46.

1990 Honda GB500, sold for $9,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F54.

1955 Ariel Square Four, unsold at Mecum ($18,000). Lot No. F59.

1985 Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo, sold for $7,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F80.

1972 Ducati 750GT, sold for $18,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F96.

1953 Indian Chief, unsold at Mecum ($60,000). Lot No. F97.

1967 Norton P11, sold for $20,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F116.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow dragbike, sold for $90,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F119.

1929 Cleveland, sold for $115,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F141.

1990 Ducati Paso, sold for $3,750 at Mecum. Lot No. F166.

1972 Dunstall Norton Replica, sold for $13,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F185.

1988 Ducati Paso, sold for $3,250 at Mecum. Lot No. F191.

1949 AGS 7R, sold for $21,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F194.

Matchless G80 Typhoon cutaway engine, sold for $8,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F216.

1987 Moto Morini, sold for $3,000 at Mecum. Lot No. F226.

1964 BMW R60/2, sold for $10,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F228.

1984 Honda VF500, unsold at Mecum ($6,000). Lot No. F251.

1962 Panther, sold for $7,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F254.

1970 Indian Velocette, sold for $1,200 at Mecum. Lot No. F263.

Honda CB750 chopper, unsold at Mecum ($10,500). Lot No. F280.

1985 Honda VFR1000R, sold for $6,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F281.

1978 Honda CX500, sold for $7,500 at Mecum. Lot No. F282.

1975 Hercules Rotary, sold for $8,000 at Mecum. Lot No. S14.

1949 Indian Arrow, sold for $9,500 at Mecum. Lot No. S20.

1936 OEC, sold for $19,000 at Mecum. Lot No. S64.

1946 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, unsold at Mecum ($60,000). Lot No. S89.

1994 Harley-Davidson VR1000, unsold at Mecum ($55,000). Lot No. S91.

1992 Bimota Tesi, sold for $16,750 at Mecum. Lot No. S149.

1968 Gilera 106SS, sold for $4,000 at Mecum. Lot No. T145.

The Lost Brough Superiors of Bodmin Moor

Brough Superior 

The horde included a 1938 SS100 (pictured) and a rare 750cc BS4. Photo by Phillip Tooth

Bonhams Auctions motoring specialist Jonathan Vickers first heard the legend of the lost Brough Superiors of Bodmin Moor about 20 years ago, but like many others he thought that it was just an urban myth.

“I was at the Royal Cornwall Show when a man told me that a family who lived in a remote village on Bodmin Moor might need advice on the best way to sell some old Brough Superiors,” Vickers says, “but he couldn’t remember the address.” Rugged and desolate Bodmin Moor covers over 125 square miles of northeastern Cornwall, England, so Vickers’ boss Ben Walker came up with the idea of using Google Street View. “We knew that the property was run down, and that there were a number of outbuildings, so we used Google to scout the location,” he explains. “And we found one that looked promising.”

When Vickers arrived at the property with a couple of Bonhams catalogs in hand, the family was happy for him to look inside the sheds. “I couldn’t believe it,” Vickers says. “There were eight Broughs, including a 1938 Matchless-engined SS100, a sidevalve 11-50hp JAP model, and even a 750cc BS4, one of only 10 of these 4-cylinder, twin-rear-wheel motorcycles to be made. Some were partly dismantled; others were submerged under decades of dust, old machinery and household clutter.”

Brough Superior 

The horde included a 1938 SS100 and this rare 750cc BS4.  Photo by Phillip Tooth

The collection had been amassed in the 1960s by Frank Vague, who was a frail 94 years old when the Bonhams team arrived. “He hadn’t seen them for a while,” adds Walker. “I think that he believed they were still in the same condition as when he pushed them into the sheds and the pigsty. Unfortunately, after over 50 years, they had deteriorated somewhat.” It took three months to pull all the bikes and parts out. “This is probably the last collection of unrestored Broughs in the world,” adds Walker. “And one of the greatest motorcycle discoveries of recent times. There will never be an opportunity like this again.” The Broughs of Bodmin Moor will be auctioned by Bonhams at Stafford on April 24, 2016, where the BS4 is expected to bring $120,000-$170,000. More info at bonhams.com — Phillip Tooth

2016 Las Vegas Classic Motorcycle Auctions

1952 Vincent Black Shadow

Ex-Ed LaBelle 1952 Black Shadow racer and drag bike to sell at Bonhams. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Auction houses Bonhams and Mecum are finalizing offerings at their respective annual Las Vegas classic motorcycle auctions. Bonhams will hold its one-day auction Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Bally’s Hotel & Casino while Mecum will continue the three-day auction extravaganza established by MidAmerica Auction (Mecum acquired MidAmerica in 2013) when it holds the 25th Annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction Jan. 7-9, 2016, at South Point Casino and Exhibit Hall.

Bonhams will have approximately 250 lots on offer during its one-day sale on Thursday, Jan. 7. Highlights include a 1922 Ace Four with sidecar (sale estimate $90,000-$110,000), a 1926 Henderson Four Deluxe (sale estimate $65,000-$85,000), an ex-Ed LaBelle 1952 Vincent Black Shadow special road racer and drag bike (sale estimate $200,000-$240,000), and an ex-Steve McQueen 1963 Triumph Bonneville desert sled modified by Bud Ekins and painted by Von Dutch (sale estimate $50,000-$60,000).

1922 Ace Four

1922 Ace Four to sell at Bonhams. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Mecum will have 700-plus lots on offer during its three-day sale Jan. 7-9. The Thursday night dinner auction will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by two full days on Friday and Saturday. Highlights include a 1912 Henderson Four last registered in South America in 1937, a 1926 Harley-Davidson board track racer equipped with a 1928 21ci twin port single race engine in the original, unrestored 1926 short frame, a first-year 1957 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL and the lowest serial number Sportster known to exist (57XL1010), and a 1986 Suzuki RG/RS500 Gamma 94hp 500cc 2-stroke square-four, a bike never sold in the U.S.

Motorcycle Classics will be on hand for the 2016 auctions, look for a full report down the road. Click here for the full auction list for Bonhams and here and the full auction list for Mecum.

1926 Henderson Four

1926 Henderson Four Deluxe to sell at Bonhams. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Steve McQueen's Triumph Bonneville

Ex-Steve McQueen Triumph Bonneville desert sled to sell at Bonhams. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

1926 Harley-Davidson

1926 Harley-Davidson board track racer to sell at Mecum. Photo courtesy Mecum.

1912 Henderson Four

1912 Henderson Four to sell at Mecum. Photo courtesy Mecum.

1957 Harley-Davidson Sportster

1957 Harley-Davidson Sportster to sell at Mecum. Photo courtesy Mecum.

1986 Suzuki RG/RS500 Gamma

1986 Suzuki RG/RS500 Gamma to sell at Mecum. Photo courtesy Mecum.