Over the weekend Bonhams annual Summer Classic Sale saw $4 million of automotive classics go under the hammer, double its 2013 total.
A 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince Project created a bidding frenzy, as two gentlemen on the phone battled for their most coveted item. Both bidders had a personal attachment to the bike; one having owned a Black Knight in his youth but always yearned for the superior Black Prince, the other (the eventual winner) sharing a birth year with the bike, and wanting to gift himself the Prince for his birthday.
The high performance motorcycle project eventually sold for almost four times its estimate at $153,000, becoming the top lot of the motorcycle sale and setting a world record for a Black Prince sold at auction.
Elsewhere in the sale, the remainder of the Vincent quadruplets all sold over their estimate, with the 1951 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow project achieving $91,000; a further $47,000 for the 1951 Vincent 998cc Rapide project, and the 1952 Vincent 998cc Rapide project achieving $39,000.
Legendary superbike of motorcycling’s between-the-wars 'Golden Age', the duo of Brough Superiors were a particular highlight of the sale. Owned by the legendary Myerscough family, the 1928/31 Brough Superior Overhead 680 achieved $56,000, and the 1935 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp secured $81,000.
Other notable results included the two Rudge Multi’s – the first outstandingly original example selling for $44,000, whilst the second, a very rusty barn find example which was formerly the property of His Majesty King Onyeama of Eke, Nigeria, sold for $8,000.
Ben Walker, Bonhams Director for Motorcycles, said: “This years sale was outstanding – an electric atmosphere, and delighted sellers and bidders. With a 93% sale achievement and 115 lots sold, it was certainly our best ‘Banbury Run’ motorcycle sale to date.
“With many exceptional models for sale – some of which haven’t been available for public sale in decades – we had bids coming in from all over the globe.”