Cost £150 – sold for £281k! Brough Superior nets owner incredible profit at Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale

1931 Brough Superior SS100 that fetched over £281k at auction
1931 Brough Superior SS100 that fetched over £281k at auction

It was a stellar weekend at this year’s Spring Stafford Sale, as a selection of race bikes and a Brough bought for just £150 in 1973, all sold for six-figure sums.

Taking place on 22-23 April, the Bonhams auction was part of the International Classic MotorCycle Show, with ex-competition machinery on sale previously ridden by the likes of Peter Hickman, Carl Fogarty, Jim Redman, and Mike Hailwood.

The newest race bike under the hammer was Hickman’s 2022 Superbike and Senior TT-winning FHO Racing BMW M1000RR, complete with its striking Gas Monkey sponsorship and all the bugs and stone chips from the 37.73-mile Isle of Man course.

Ex-Carl Fogarty North West 200-winning Ducati 888 Corsa

“Because it’s such an iconic bike that Peter won the Senior TT on, I thought it’s a piece of history and it would be nice for someone to actually own it,” FHO team boss Faye Ho said, back at the Devitt Insurance MCN London Motorcycle Show. “We have not touched it; it’s as it was.”

Initially expected to fetch between £80,000 and £100,000, it actually sold for £112,700 including premium, with Bonhams Motorcycle Consultant, Dave Hancock adding: “This is a very special motorcycle. It’s survived 12 laps over two races of the world’s most challenging and infamous road circuit – more than 450 miles at an average speed of more than 130mph.”

Away from road racing, the auction also included an ex-works 125cc Ducati Desmodromic ‘Barcone’ Grand Prix machine, ridden by Mike Hailwood to claim nine victories and the British 125cc championship in 1960.

Hailwood Ducati 125

“The Ducati offers its successful buyer the unrepeatable opportunity to carefully preserve and conserve a significant piece of the legendary Mike Hailwood’s history,” Ben Walker, Global Head of Bonhams Motorcycles said.

Purchased by Mike’s father, Stan Hailwood, directly from the Ducati factory, this bike went for £138,000 – some £11,500 more than a 1963 ex-Jim Redman MBE Honda 247cc CR72, which was sold in restored condition.

But it wasn’t all about racing machines though, and the biggest story of the weekend was a 1931 Brough Superior SS100, which has been owned by the same person since April 1973, when it was bought for £150. It sold for a monumental £281,750 including premium – that’s some retirement investment fund!

1931 Brough Superior SS100

The vendor, who has not been named, said: “I was all too aware of the SS100’s notoriety, especially as I worked as an aircraft engineer for Vickers at the Brooklands race circuit where, in 1939, an SS100 took the all-time record of 124.51mph.”

Estimated to fetch £150,000 – £180,000, the bike will require recommissioning for the road.

Hicky bike under the hammer: Peter Hickman’s TT-winning BMW superbike up for auction

First published 28 February 2023 by Dan Sutherland

Peter Hickman's TT-winning BMW M1000RR

Peter Hickman’s 2022 Isle of Man TT-winning BMW M1000RR superbike is being auctioned at this year’s Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale in April.

Expected to fetch between £80,000 and £100,000, the green and white 999cc four-cylinder machine took victory in last year’s Superbike and Senior TT races and is still peppered with the stone chips and bug splats from its laps of the gruelling 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

“This is a very special motorcycle. It’s survived 12 laps over two races of the world’s most challenging and infamous road circuit – more than 450 miles at an average speed of more than 130mph,” said Bonhams Motorcycle Consultant, Dave Hancock. “It’s the closest you’d get to buying an active racing machine – an absolute rarity.”

Hickman's race number from the Isle of Man

James Stensel, Head of Bonhams Motorcycles UK, added: “Never before has a ‘current’ TT-winning motorcycle been offered for sale at a public auction and Bonhams is especially proud to have been entrusted with finding a new custodian.

“This is a truly exceptional opportunity to acquire a piece of motorcycling history.”

The Gas Monkey BMW by FHO Racing machine was on display with Bonhams at the 2023 Devitt MCN London Motorcycle Show at London’s ExCeL, allowing visitors to get up close with the one-off racer. It still runs, should the new owner want to ride it, and will come with its Senior TT bodywork in place.

Peter Hickman rides the BMW M1000RR to victory at the Isle of Man

MCN caught up with FHO team boss Faye Ho at the event. “Because it’s such an iconic bike that Peter won the Senior TT on, I thought it’s a piece of history and it would be nice for someone to actually own it,” said Ho.

“We have not touched it; it’s as it was, with all the flies on it still. Everything is exactly the same and it’s a one-off.”

Peter Hickman himself spoke with MCN at the show, saying, “It’s the bike that won the Superbike race and the Senior. It’s the bike that broke the race lap record in the Superbike and it is the genuine article.

Hickman fairing complete with IOM bug splats

“It’s an epic piece of machinery and an exact copy of my BSB bike. They’re identical. It’s a proper weapon of a thing and it’s not very often you can buy the genuine article.

“A lot of people say they’ve got this bike, or that bike, but a lot of the time it isn’t the bike that they claim it to be.”

On top of the genuine bodywork, it still rolls on the Dunlop tyres used in the Senior TT, and still has its ‘Parc Fermé’ band on the top yoke.

The Spring Stafford Sale will take place on April 22-23 at the Staffordshire County Showground. For more information on the auction, visit the Bonhams website.

£50K Phil Read MV Agusta among collection of auction bikes at Stafford sale

First published 18 February 2022 by Jordan Gibbons

One of just two MV Agusta Boxers brought to Britain

One of just two MV Agusta Boxers brought to Britain is to go under the hammer at Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale on April 23-24 2022.

The 1977 machine is best known to riders as the Monza, but the model was briefly named Boxer before Ferrari complained one of their cars had a prior claim to the tag. Up to that point just two Boxers made it to the UK.

Essentially a bigger version of the 750S America, the 832cc Boxer was among the fastest bikes of the era with a top speed of 144mph and the most exotic MV built with cast alloy wheels and discs brakes all round.

1977 CBX1000 is one of just 41 pre-production bikes

This particular example is even more exclusive as it was briefly owned by Phil Read MBE, who won MV Agusta’s final two 500cc GP world championships in 1973 and 1974 and said of it: “Since riding the MV on a closed circuit in comparison with other road bikes, I’ve discovered what a superlative sports motorcycle it is.”

The bike has covered just 11,500 miles from new and been kept in a temperature-controlled museum environment since it was acquired by the current owner in 2009. With an estimate of £40-£50,000 it’s the star of the Stafford sale which also features a whopping 540 other lots.

Also included the sale is a pre-production 1977 Honda CBX1000. Before full production of the legendary 130mph, six-cylinder machine began, Honda handbuilt 41 pre-production examples to be used in displays, the world press launch, brochure photoshoots etc with this example being one of those machines performing press duties in the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), where it’s remained until now.

1981 Kawasaki twin was the ultimate 250GP racer

Recently restored to original condition, the big Honda has an estimate of £25-£35,000.

Another rarity in the sale is a works Kawasaki 1981 KR250 GP bike of the type that dominated 250 (and, in enlarged form, 350) GPs in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the hands of Kork Ballington and Anton Mang.

This one was raced by Jean-François Baldé to second behind Mang in the 1981 series. It was restored just over a decade ago, last saw action at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed and has an estimate of £25-£35,000.

The Spring Stafford Sale will be staged over two days, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April, during the International Classic Motorcycle Show at the Staffordshire County Showground. For more info, visit

Brough times at Bonhams: Two SS100s to be auctioned at the Spring Stafford Sale

First published 18 February 2022 by Jordan Gibbons

Broughs up for grabs at 2022 Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale

Two Brough Superior SS100 restoration projects will appear at this year’s Bonhams spring sale. Taking place at the International Classic Motorcycle Show, April 22-23, the auction will host a huge variety of classic machinery as well as numerous race bikes from across the ages. It’s undoubtedly the Broughs though that will steal the show.

First up is a 1929 996cc SS100 ‘Alpine Grand Sports’ Sprint Special, which is one of Brough’s most iconic models, named after their successes in the 1925 Austrian Alpine Trial. Supplied with its original gearbox, tank and front numberplate, it’s being offered for restoration with an estimate of £70,000-£100,000.

The second machine is little bit newer, being one of the earliest Matchless-powered SS100s, a 1936 982cc SS100. The current owner has known the bike for over 70 years, having been given lifts sitting on the tank as a schoolboy.

1929 Brough Superior SS100

He eventually realised his dream of buying it but by then it was dismantled, so the retired engineer restored it before campaigning the machine in club events, reaching 90mph on one occasion riding on Pendine Sands. Offered now in need of light restoration with an original frame and engine, with an estimate of £120,000-£180,000.

The Broughs aren’t the only bikes on sale though with a 1948 Velocette 348cc KTT MkVII is up for grabs with an estimate of £50,000-£70,000, The Ron Chandler 1972 Triumph Formula 750 Triple estimated to sell for £50,000-£70,000 and even a incredible one-owner low-mileage 1988 Honda RC30 – estimated to fetch between £20,000-£30,000.

Bonhams back with bumper classic bike sale

First published 16 March 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

1937 Vincent HRD

Bonhams are planning to make the return to live auctions at the International Classic Motorcycle show at Stafford in July. Already some stars are starting to emerge, including a fabulous pair of Vincents.

First up is a 1937 498cc Comet Series A, which was the first model to use the Philip Vincent designed engine. Fully restored in the early 2000s, this one took an award at the 2009 Stafford show and has done just 100 shake-down miles since. It’s expected to sell for £35,000-£45,000.

1951 Vincent HRD 998cc Black Shadow Series C

Even more stunning is a 1951 example of the legendary 998cc Black Shadow, the first production bike to top 120mph. This one underwent a four year nut and bolt restoration, winning Best in Show at Stafford in 2010. It’s set to fetch £60,000-£75,000.

The sale takes place on Saturday-Sunday, July 3-4 at the Stafford Show and you can get full details plus the rest of the catalogue at the Bonhams website.

Unique 1964 Ducati four highlights classics being auctioned by Bonhams at 2020 Spring Stafford Sale

First published on 6 March, 2020 by Phil West

Exquisite Ducati 125cc four was created by Fabio Taglioni

An astonishing 200 classic racing motorcycles, highlighted by this unique, 1964 Ducati four-cylinder 125 which is worth in excess of £500,000, will be the stars of the Bonhams auction at the upcoming Stafford Classic Show.

The bikes all come from the celebrated Morbidelli Motorcycle Museum in Pesaro, Italy, whose founder, Giancarlo Morbidelli, passed away two weeks ago (the sale was planned before his death).

Morbidelli built up an unrivalled classic collection

Apart from creating a successful lightweight racing marque (his 125 twins won three world championships in the mid-1970s), Morbidelli also, over 40 years, built up an unrivalled collection of Italian racing bikes, including Benellis and Ducatis, around which he founded his museum.

The Ducati 125-4 was an almost mythical one-off created by the legendary Fabio Taglioni that was, for many years, considered lost. As a result, its sale price at the Bonhams auction, which takes place over the weekend of April 25- 26, is estimated to be a whopping £400-600,000.

Other spectacular bike from the collection which are being offered for sale include a 1950 Benelli 250 GP machine, estimated to be worth £120-180,000, a 1959 Benelli 250 ‘Bialbero’ formerly owned by John Surtees and estimated at £60- 100,000 and a 1959 Mondial Paton 250 estimated at £30-40,000.

1959 Benelli 'Bialbero' was formerly owned by John Surtees

Ben Walker for Bonhams said: “We are very proud to have been entrusted with the sale of this stunning collection, carefully put together over 40 years by Giancarlo Morbidelli, which is a fitting tribute to this master of the motorcycling world.

“With the majority of this collection being offered at ‘No reserve’, this will be a unique opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts from across the globe to bid for some truly special lots and indeed, a piece of history.

“We expect international interest from collectors and enthusiasts who will give the motorcycles a new lease of life in other collections and homes around the world.”

The Bonhams auction is one of biggest on the motorcycling calendar and is one of the main attractions at the season curtain-raising 40th Carole Nash International Motorcycle Show at Stafford County Showground from April 25-26.

1959 Mondial Paton 250 is valued at between £30-40,000

Rare Coventry-Eagle fetches £190k at Stafford Sale

First published 30 April 2019 by Jordan Gibbons

A Coventry Eagle Flying 8

A 1925 Coventry-Eagle 981cc Flying-8 with a rare overhead valve engine sold for £190,000, almost twice the estimated price of £100,000-£120,000.

Coventry-Eagle started out life as a bicycle manufacturer in the Victorian era but by the 20s had hained a reputation for making big, fast motorcycles. This Flying-8 was no exception, one journalist at the time remarked, “On the open road, as one would expect, it is possible to annihilate space on the merest whiff of gas.”

Brough Superior SS100 Alpine

Hot on the heels of the Coventry-Eagle was a stunning Brough Superior 986cc SS100 Alpine Grand Sports that was expected to be the headline attraction of the sale. The ultimate vintage motorcycle, which was the superbike of its day in the 20s, sold for £180,000.

Jump to

Several long-term owners used the bike before its seller took possession in 1986 and restored it.

The bike that stunt rider Bud Ekins rode to an International Six Day Trial win while he was filming The Great Escape sold for £85,000, far exceeding the £20,000-30,000 estimate.

Bud Ekins' ISDT-winning Triumph

The machine is a 649cc 1962 Triumph TR6SS Trophy – a rare bike in itself as it was one of the last pre-unit bikes (where the engine and gearbox were separate items) to roll off the production line, and was originally on sale for less than a year.

As a good off-road racer and occasional stuntman, while Ekins was in Germany filming The Great Escape with good friend Steve McQueen he decided to enter the ISDT which was being held nearby.

Ekins asked Triumph to ship the bike, which he rode to a Gold Medal win and overall victory in the Unlimited Capacity Class. After the race, Ekins shipped the bike back to California, where he kept it for 27 years before selling it to Bob Gardiner.

Ekins doubled for Steve McQueen in 'The Great Escape'

The bike was offered totally original and unrestored, even coming with the cup awarded to Ekins for his win.

Three Honda CB750s ranging in age and price were also sold, a 1975 CB750F sold for the bargain price of £2700, a rare 1969 ‘Sandcast’ model fetched £22,000, while a 1975 K6 went for £6,800.

'Sandcast' Honda CB750

V-twins lead the charge at Bonhams Spring Stafford sale 2019

Elsewhere, a 1924 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 fetched £110,000, while a 1933 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp and Cruiser Sidecar, which featured in TV shows Dad’s Army and George and Mildred went for £62,000.

1924 Brough Superior SS80

Before TV stardom beckoned, the Brough competed as a works entry in the 1934 International Six Days Trial (ISDT). Following this sporting start in life, the bike changed hands a few times before being sold in 1965 to Stan Gilks Ltd for a rather modest £40.

The 1924 Brough Superior 980cc SS80 was delivered new to a customer in Germany and, despite being nearly 100 years old, still has matching numbers. The bike received upgrades including an SS100 gearbox upon returning to the UK after just one year in Germany.

Other V-twin highlights included the charming 1922 Chater Lea 885cc 8hp Combination (£23,000) complete with a luxuriously upholstered, enclosed sidecar, and the ex-Kaye Done, 1914 Zenith-JAP ‘Gradua’ Twin (£24,500).

For more information on any of the lots, to register to bid or to arrange a complimentary valuation, please contact the motorcycle department on or call +44 20 8963 2817.

More from MCN

Bonhams Spring Stafford sale 2018: Stunning MV sells for £100k

The Bonham’s Spring Stafford sale saw over 400 bikes go under the hammer last weekend with many early estimates being blown away as the bidding got aggressive.

There was a wide variety of bikes on offer. Lots included everything from a six-figure Brough Superiors to restoration project Laverdas. But it was a 1973 MV Agusta 750S that stole our hearts.

When the 750S launched, it arguably started the modern take on sports touring with a maintenance-free shaft drive paired to the 65bhp 743cc inline four. Handmade in limited numbers, the 750S was so expensive that it was out of reach of the ordinary biker.

MV Agusta 750S

This particular example was first registered in Spain and had documentation (including a current MoT) that’s bang up to date. It sold for £96,700, far exceeding the estimate of £70,000-£90,000.

Other lots in the sale included a handful of 750cc Triumph TR7s as used by the Army’s White Helmets display team. The stunt team’s 1999 Ride Bike, a stripped-down roadster that performed in all 28 outings of the team’s final year, generated the most interest and fetched £6325.

The lot that really drove bidders wild, nearly doubling its lower estimate, was item number 430: Bruce Anstey’s Ulster GP-winning GSX-R1000. The Dyson Suzuki won many Superstock races across the 2003 season, recording a whopping 181mph through the speedtrap at the Ulster. It sold for £9200.

Bonhams Spring Stafford sale 2017: 1949 White Shadow project fetches £163,900

Vincent White Shadow

An incredibly rare ‘barn find’ Vincent White Shadow fetched £163,900 at the Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale.

Vincent White Shadows are identified by a ‘1A’ engine number prefix and left the Stevenage factory without the Black Shadow’s distinctive black engine casings.

Only a handful of White Shadows exist and the Vincent Owners Club only listed 16 in 2017, making it one of the rarest post-war Vincent models.

Bonhams Spring Stafford sale 2016: £970,000-worth of Brough motorcycles sold

Brough Superior Model BS4

The Brough models alone sold at the 2016 Bonhams Spring Stafford sale represented over £970,000-worth of the sale total.

The most expensive bike sold was an ex-Hubert Chantrey 1932 Brough Superior 800cc Model BS4 project From the estate of the late Frank Vague, which fetched an astonishing £331,900, despite being completely unrestored.

The Brough features an odd, twin rear wheel set-up, a result of using a 749cc four-cylinder Austin Seven engine. When traditional drive chain components were added the bike was too long for George Brough’s liking so he opted to use the Austin’s shaft drive.

Vincent-HRD Rapide

A close second place in the auction was a 1939 Vincent-HRD Rapide, which fetched a princely £270,300 (enough to seal top listing in most motorbike auctions).