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...

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: JOHN NUT­TING

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.

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