The lat­est Bon­ham’s auc­tion saw big money in­vested in old mo­tor­bikes, like this re­stored Tri­umph.

A rare old Croft-Cameron, the high­light of Bon­ham’s Au­tumn Stafford Mo­tor­cy­cle auc­tion

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE HAN­LON

THE spring and au­tumn Stafford sales tra­di­tion­ally throw up the finest of Bri­tish col­lectible mo­tor­cy­cles and break the records.

Our top 250 mo­tor­cy­cles sold at auc­tion list­ing in­cludes dozens of bikes sold at the Stafford­shire Coun­try Show­ground in these bi-an­nual sales and the re­sults of the re­cent Stafford sale (a 94% sale rate and a to­tal value of £1 572 712 or R26,8 mil­lion) re­flect a strong mar­ket.

The un­doubted high­light of Bon­ham’s Au­tumn Stafford Mo­tor­cy­cle auc­tion on Oc­to­ber 16 was the sale of a 1924 CroftCameron 996cc Su­per Eight for £203 100 (R3,4 mil­lion).

The com­pany only pro­duced mo­tor­cy­cles from 1923 to 1926, and no one knows how many were pro­duced, but the qual­ity of the 996cc over­head-valve V-twin mo­tor­cy­cle and its twin loop frame put it right along­side its com­peti­tors at the top end of the mar­ket of the era, be­ing Brough Su­pe­rior and Coven­try Ea­gle.

Bon­ham’s of­fi­cial auc­tion de­scrip­tion of the bike is in­ter­est­ing be­cause it con­tains great de­tail.

Croft Cameron Su­per Eight used the Bri­tish An­zani V-twin and was avail­able in eight-valve form (four valves per cylin­der) for £140 at the time, or four-valve (two valves per cylin­der) at £125, and with a slightly larger ca­pac­ity there was also the op­tion of a slightly larger “Plus Power” en­gine which cost £145 and £130 for the four-valve and two-valve ver­sions, re­spec­tively.

The bike set a new world record for the rare Coven­try based Croft-Cameron mar­que.

One of the great buys of the sale, and a per­fect ex­am­ple of the lengths an en­thu­si­ast will go to in order to bring a bike back to life was a 1908 Tri­umph 3½hp side­car com­bi­na­tion, which sold for £14 950.

It was first reg­is­tered in 1908 in South Aus­tralia, dis­man­tled for re­con­di­tion­ing prior to World War 1 and re­dis­cov­ered in 1975 in a dis­man­tled state with the parts spread around a large work­shop.

The ven­dor at this sale pur­chased the work­shop’s en­tire con­tents to en­sure he got all needed parts for restora­tion.

The bike was found to be com­plete, ex­cept for the wicker side­car body, so a replica of the lat­ter was made to at­tach to the arche­o­log­i­cally man­i­fested restora­tion.

At 108 years of age and quite beau­ti­ful, it’s a time warp and a mag­nif­i­cent restora­tion for the rather mea­gre price.

Fi­nally, one of the more in­ter­est­ing re­sults for a more re­cent ma­chine was the sale of a lim­it­ededi­tion 1997 Du­cati 996cc 916 SPS, which fetched £22 770.

PHOTO: BON­HAM’S

PHO­TOS: BON­HAMS

(Left) A Croft-Cameron 996cc Su­per Eight sold for R3,4 mil­lion while the re­stored 1908 Tri­umph 3½hp side­car com­bi­na­tion sold for over R255 000.

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