LAST EVER SERIES-C VINCENT BLACK SHADOW HEADS LINE-UP FOR BONHAMS NEXT STAFFORD SALE

. September 6, 2007

Machines already consigned to Bonhams’ next bi-annual UK Sale of Collectable Motorcycles – to be held at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in Stafford on 21 October – include the last ever Series-C Vincent Black Shadow and Freddie Dixon’s 1928 Isle of Man Junior TT works Douglas. One of the very first Honda CB750 fours sold in the UK will also go under the hammer, as well as the ex-Mead & Tomkinson, 1976 Laverda ‘Nessie’ Endurance Racing Prototype.

Vincent

Dating from February 1955, the matching-numbers Vincent is the final Series-C Black Shadow produced and thus of exceptional significance in the history of the Vincent motorcycle. It is expected to fetch £40,000-50,000.

Purchased new from Forest Hill, South London dealer, Jack Surtees, the machine was acquired by the vendor’s father (only its third private owner, now deceased) in 1996. Both of the preceding two owners had been friends of the vendor’s father in Forest Hill, and the Vincent was acquired from the second owner’s family following his death.

The machine retains its original buff logbook, stamped by Jack Surtees and signed by him, and which records the names of the two owners prior to the vendor’s father, who died before completing its restoration. Since completed with the assistance of Colin Jenner at Conway Motors and partly run in, this concours machine is now performing as well as it did in 1955.

Douglas

The racing Douglas is a unique works prototype developed by famous rider/engineer Freddie Dixon specifically for the 1928 Isle of Man TT. For this event Dixon designed an all-new, twin camshaft, overhead-valve engine in both 350cc and 500cc configurations. Development time was short but nevertheless Dixon achieved a creditable 18th place in the Junior event on the bike’s first outing. Riding a 500cc twin-cam Douglas – possibly this same machine with different cylinder barrels fitted – in the Senior event, Dixon had to lay his bike down at the Gooseneck to avoid crashed riders and was forced to retire.

In post-war years this machine was rediscovered by Douglas authority Dr Joe Bailey, passing through his hands into the stewardship of Len Cole and thence to the present owner who undertook a painstaking five-year restoration. Estimate: £25,000 – 35,000.

Laverda

The Laverda Endurance Racing Prototype is one of the series of unconventional endurance racers built and campaigned between 1974 and 1982 by the UK-based dealership, Mead & Tomkinson. (This series of machines has since become known by the generic term ‘Nessie’, although that name was first applied to the successor Kawasaki-engined version, which carried its fuel tank beneath the engine while the exhaust system snaked sinuously over the top).

A feature of all the Mead & Tomkinson Laverda and subsequent Kawasaki racers was hub-centre steering of the type developed in the late 1960s by British engineer Jack Difazio. M & T first applied the Difazio system to an otherwise mostly standard Laverda in 1974 before going on to develop this particular machine, which in addition features parallelogram suspension at the rear.

The Laverda was campaigned by Mead & Tomkinson throughout the 1976 endurance racing season before being sold into private ownership the following year. After four private owners, it was acquired in 1987 by the vendor. Since then, a combination of the vendor’s work, family and other interests has meant that this unique, fascinating and historic racing motorcycle has remained in dry storage. Estimate: £6,000 – 10,000.

Honda

The sensational Honda CB750 made its UK debut at the Brighton Show in April 1969, having premiered in Tokyo the preceding October, and this example, registered early in 1970, is believed to be from the very first batch imported into this country.

Exceptionally well preserved, the machine has covered a mere 49,000-or-so miles in the hands of its one owner from new and represents a rare opportunity to acquire a totally original example of this iconic motorcycle. Estimate £6,000 – 10,000.

Category: Auction News

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