Records tumble following tense bidding battles at one of the year’s biggest sales
Record-breaking prices and some pleasingly honest bargains
Bonhams’ decision to run its flagship spring Stafford sale over two days rather than the traditional single-day event was royally vindicated as a weekend of sale room action produced stellar results. The bare figures are impressive on their own. A total sale of £3,376,045, with 92% of entries sold and world record sale prices at auction for two models. But the detail is even more so.
Top performing lot was the wonderful 1931 Brough Superior SS100 we previewed in our April issue. The bike made £264,700, well above its pre-sale estimate of £170,000-220,000, after a tense bidding battle. It sold to a bidder in the room and the three charities to whom the vendor had pledged the proceeds of the sale – The Search and Rescue Dog Association, the RNLI and the Salvation Army – must have been delighted.
Those model records went to a 1970 Clymer-münch Mammoth, which made £154,940, and a 1973 MV Agusta 750S that sold for £96,700. Both bikes were from the Miklos Salamon collection, which all sold.
So too, did the other significant collection offered over the weekend. The Tan House lots went under the hammer on Saturday and among many highlights from the 61-strong collection was a wonderful circa-1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin combination that made £28,750 (estimate £16,000-22,000). The collection’s circa-1913 Matchless 8hp obliterated its pre-sale estimate of £10,000-14,000 when the bike – an earlier restoration of this rare model – sold for £16,100.
Sunday’s sale featured a number of restoration projects as usual – but there was nothing ordinary about the 1974 Ducati 750SS project. Raced by its original owner before being sold to the vendor in 1979, it has been off the road since the end of that year. Despite needing an engine rebuild, this has to be one of the most original 750SS models to come to the market recently. But even so, its sale price of £106,780 against an estimate of £30,000-40,000 was quite remarkable.
Certainly, Bonhams was delighted. “I think it’s probably been our best-ever Stafford sale,” said motorcycle specialist Bill To. The auction house will have to work hard to better this result in October.
1970 Clymer-műnch Mammoth made a mighty £154,940 inc premium
BELOW: MV Agusta from Miklos Salamon collection: a recordbreaker at £96,700
RIGHT: 1913 Indian Big Twin combination needed work but fetched £28,750