1948 Vincent Rapide V-twin Sold for £57,600

The third major collectors' motorcycle sale of 2009 ended successfully for Bonhams, as 74 percent of the lots sold, raising a total of £981,638. The highlight of this event, however, was a 1948 Vincent Rapide v-twin famously ridden by Arthur Merrett at that year's International Six Days Trial at San Remo, Italy, which sold for £57,600, originally estimated at £50,000 - 60,000.

Other Vincent Marque machines were also showcased, namely a 1951 Series-C Rapide sold for £35,600, exceeding the top estimate of £26,000, a fully rebuilt 1949 Black Lightning Replica fetched £23,000, a restored 1951 Comet single sold for £14,375, while two Egli-Vincents made £25,300 and £18,400 respectively.

As for the racing motorcycles, the famous ex-Francis Williams 1930 Cotton-Blackburne, also known as ‘The Village Fire Engine', sold to a buyer in Mumbai, India for £34,500, while a Rotax-engined v-twin ridden by Derek Huxley, fetched £15,525. The post-war Velocette KTT MkVIII, restored in Sweden by its previous owner, fetched £34,500.

Several Japanese and Italian motorcycles were also in the spotlight, with a 1975 Honda CB400F selling for £7,475. Other noteworthy results included the 1974 Kawasaki Z1A, fully restored by the editor of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, the late Rod Gibson, which fetched £9,430. A limited edition 2001 Ducati 996R Corse racing-specification superbike sold for £16,675, while a 1949 Gilera Saturno, offered for restoration, found a new owner for £5,750.

"The results reflect many different facets of the collectors' motorcycle world - the growth in demand for Japanese classics, the value of a good provenance, and, where vendors are willing to be realistic with their estimates, the competitive bidding it attracts and the strong prices that are achieved as a result," said Ben Walker Head of the Motorcycles Department at Bonhams.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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