A look at the celebrations at the David Silver Museum.
To help celebrate their 50th anniversay, a number of priceless CB750 Hondas gathered at the David Silver Honda Collection. Nutters was there...
The rare pre-production Honda CB750 Four that was sold at auction earlier this year for an amazing £161,000 won the top prize at the 50th anniversary celebrations for the marque held at David Silver Honda Collection museum in Suffolk at the end of September. Owned by Tony Brown from Lancashire, the CB750 was one of four machines built by Honda at the end of 1968 for showing to dealers in America and the UK prior to production starting early in 1969. The celebrations were held almost half a century after the CB750 made its debut at the Tokyo Automobile Show in October 1968. With a 125mph top speed potential and a claimed 67bhp, the CB750 was first to feature a hydraulic disc brake and self-starter on a mass-production bike, and with four cylinders and upswept silencers recalling Honda’s works racers of the Sixties it started the Superbike era. Around 80 CB750 fours were assembled at Leiston, where Dave Silver runs his global Honda spares business. Visitors came from as far as Sweden, Germany and California for the event. Roger Etcell, former Honda UK boss and curator of the David Silver Museum, said: “This must be the biggest collection of Honda CB750 fours ever organised.” The auction price paid by Tony Brown for his pre-production CB750 is a reflection of its rarity. Honda UK sold it to Lord Denbigh, who was a UK motorcycle industry chairman in the 1970s. One of the other four pre-production machines was used for mechanic training in the US before being scrapped by the factory, another disappeared in France while the fourth was discovered in the US and was restored by Vic World from California who has specialised in early, so-called ‘sand-cast’, CB750S for more than 25 years. That one was sold on ebay for the equivalent of £90,000 and resides in a secret collection in the US. Vic World visited the event to see the CB750 that he restored for Ole Larsen who came from Helsingborg in Sweden. His 1969 bike won the prize for the lowest production VIN. Looking in better-thanshowroom condition, it will not be fired up
but will star in Larsen’s own collection of 75 machines in a museum. Similar machines are sold by Vic World for up to $45,000 each. Other notable CB750 Fours included the press bike, reg no YLY 70H, which featured in many motorcycle magazines in 1970. Philip Shaw from Windsor has owned the mint-condition bike for more than 20 years. Specials were also on show, such as the Yoshimura-kitted CB750 dating from 1970 and featuring a Russ Collins ignition system, brought by Aiden Dermot from Hertfordshire, and the Peckett & Mcnab Honda road racer #14 built in 1977 and owned by Stan Brown. In 50 years it shouldn’t be surprising that some CB750S have clocked up high mileages. Chris Rushton added another 320 miles on the round trip from Retford to the 135,000 already on the clock of the 1969 blue CB750 he acquired in California and uses almost daily. This and another of Rushton’s CB750S were featured in the October issue of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics. A highly-respected expert in early CB750S, Rushton joined the judging panel with Vic World; John Wyatt from Dave Silver Spares; racer and racing bike specialist Colin Seeley, who built the Phil Read Replica CB750S in the late 1970s several of which were on show; Roger Etcell and Dave Silver himself. CB750 Fours were judged in a number of categories, the winners being:
• Earliest VIN No: Ole Larsen (Sweden), 1969 CB750
• Earliest UK: Michael Taylor (Kent), 1969 CB750
• Most Original (unrestored): David Warton (Suffolk), 1973 CB750K3
• Best Presented: Karen Wicks (Lincolnshire), 1972 CB750K2
• Furthest Travelled (ridden to the event): Nick Harvey (Inverness, Scotland) 605 miles
• Highest Mileage: Chris Rushton (Nottinghamshire) 1969 CB750, 134,943 miles
• Best Custom Special: Julian Clements (Buckinghamshire), racer special CB750
• Judges’ Favourite: Tony Brown (Lancashire), pre-production CB750 The categories were sponsored by Bonhams Auctions; Hagerty Insurance; The VJMC; Dream Machine Superpaint; Motion Works Management and David Silver Spares.
The museum is growing year-on-year.
No expense spared for the trestle-table presentations!
Tony Brown with pre-prod 2110.
Aiden Dermot: RC Honda.
Philip Shaw with test bike YLY70H.
Vic World came to help out.
Ole Larsen, Sweden.
Stan Brown: P&M Honda.