Motorcycle Classics

Rare 1929 Grindlay-Peerless Racer to be Auctioned at Bonhams’ Stafford Sale

Reader Contribution by Press Release

Bonhams’ hopes to get $80,000-$110,000 for this 1929 Grindlay-Peerless at its October Stafford sale.

An extremely rare racing motorcycle from the 1920s that lapped the famous Brooklands race circuit at over 100mph in 1937 is expected to generate intense competition among bidders at the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Presale estimate is $80,000-$110,000.

One of only two of its kind known to survive, the 1929 Grindlay-Peerless-JAP 500cc ‘Hundred Model’ (won the Brooklands ‘Gold Star’ award in 1937 in the hands of prominent VMCC member, the late Edmond ‘Boy’ Tubb.

When Grindlay-Peerless rider C W G ‘Bill’ Lacey became the first man to cover 100 miles in an hour on British soil in August 1928, the Coventry factory lost no time in bringing out a replica of his machine, the Brooklands ‘Hundred Model’, of which only five or six were ever made.

Offered for sale by the Tubb family, this Grindlay has been displayed at the Brookland Museum since the late 1980s, and used by the Brooklands Society on numerous demonstration runs in recent years.

Other notable early consignments for the Stafford sale include a collection of three Velocettes owned by world-famous motorcycling authority and prolific author, the late Jeff Clew.

The collection includes a 1930 KTT racer, an ultra-rare 1929 Speedway model, and a 1957 Valiant, all of which have been displayed at the Haynes Motor Museum in Dorset since Jeff’s passing in 2009.

Raced at Brooklands and in the Manx Grand Prix by its first owner Harold Lamacraft and later at Brooklands by Bert Perryman, the KTT was restored by Jeff in the 1960s to be as close as possible to original specification. Since the completion of this restoration in 1967, it has been ridden on closed roads over part of the Isle of Man TT course for the Manx Grand Prix’s 50th anniversary in 1973, and also at ‘Brooklands Revived’ events.

Veloce Ltd made only 21 Speedway (dirt-track) models, and Jeff’s re-creation uses a genuine 415cc ‘KDT’ engine (basically an over-bored 350cc KTT unit), which is housed in a KSS roadster frame modified to dirt-track specification by many-times grass-track champion Lew Coffin.

A classic racing motorcycle from the post-war era, the 1957 Matchless G45 was delivered new to Australia, spending several years in museums there after its retirement from active competition. Repatriated from Western Australia in 2004, it was overhauled by a marque specialist and has had only one outing to date: the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park in 2008.

Other highlights of what promises to be another sensational sale include a recently restored 1910 Rex 5hp De Luxe V-twin that has participated in the Pioneer and Banbury Runs since completion in 2007 and a 1930 Brough Superior ‘Overhead 680’ restoration project.

Ben Walker, Director of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said: “Brooklands machines rarely come to market so we are truly honoured to be offering not one but two important examples at our Autumn Stafford sale.

“The ex-Edmond ‘Boy’ Tubb 1929 Grindlay-Peerless represents the period of ‘no fear’ motorcycle racing when Brooklands was the centre for the world’s most epic speed record attempts.

“Jeff Clew is sorely missed by all and we look forward to continuing his legacy through the sale of his much-loved and highly-prized Velocettes, one of which has Brooklands and Manx Grand Prix history.”

For further press information please contact Helen Buckingham on 0207 468 5870 or 07436 266394, or email or

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to Prior to each sale there are three days of viewing which collectors and the general public are welcome to attend.

  • Published on Jul 30, 2012
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