A very special single collection of 90 classic motorcycles, previously owned by Bill
Crosby and displayed at the famous London Motorcycle Museum, triumphed at yesterday’s Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale, achieving a 100 per cent sale rate and a total of £332,000, with more than
40 motorcycles wearing the Triumph badge being sold.
The top lot of the collection was the 1977 Triumph 750cc T140V ‘Strongbow’ Flat Tracker, which realised £33,350, more than
three times its top estimate. This bike was one of a batch of six or seven T140V Bonnevilles built by Triumph for flat-track racing in the UK towards the end of 1977.
Bill’s impressive selection of over 80 motorcycles from his personal collection, which the well-known former Triumph dealer and founder of the museum had amassed since the 1960s, represented
the golden age of British motorcycle engineering, charting the development of so many historic marques from AJS to Velocette, via BSA, Matchless, Norton and Rudge.
Ben Walker, International Department Director, Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles, said: “This is a well-deserved result
for one of the most well-known UK collections of largely British machinery. We are so pleased to have been able to achieve such a high sale rate which means that these historic machines, which embody the golden age of British motorcycling, have found new homes
with fellow enthusiasts and collectors.”
Other highlights from the sale of the Bill Crosby/London Motorcycle Museum collection include:
1981 Triumph TS8-1 Prototype, sold for £13,225. Fitted with a TSX8 engine, this prototype was displayed
at that year’s Earl’s Court Motorcycle Show but never put into production. This one off into ONE ‘push’ mile from new.
1982 Triumph 649cc TR65T Tiger Trail, realised £16,675. One
of only six trial versions of the Thunderbird believed to be produced before the Meridian closure.
The Peril Speed Equipe, sold for £20,700– a trio of Triumph-powered drag racers built by circuit racer
the late Bill Bragg, with the ‘Yellow Peril’ running the best quarter mile of 13.39 seconds in 1961.
Yesterday’s auction was the first of the two-day sale of collectors’ motorcycles and memorabilia, of which the highlight sold lot was a
rare Heuer ‘Carrera 1158’ fine watch owned by Mike Hailwood, the late nine-times Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion, which achieved a
sale price of £56,312, four-times its pre-sale estimate.
The 18k gold watch was gifted to Hailwood by Jack Heuer, the company’s former chairman and bore the personal engraving ‘To Mike Hailwood for a successful 1973 Jack Heuer – a likely
reference to Hailwood’s bravery in helping to rescue an unconscious Clay Regazzoni from his burning Ferrari at the South African Grand Prix, while Hailwood was competing in that year’s four-wheeled series.
Day two’s sale will feature more than 150 motorcycles including another single owner collection of low mileage Bimotas, plus a unique custom Harley Davidson, created by the ‘Jesus
Bikers’ group and signed by His Holiness Pope Francis, estimate £50,000 – 100,000 – with proceeds to be donated to charity.
to view the full catalogue listing or to watch the sale online.