A variety of large and small motorcycles will go up for auction at Bonhams sale of An Important European Collection of Pioneer, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycles at the RAF Museum, Hendon on February 27, 2010. This varied and unusual collection features all sorts of motorcycles ranging from a three seater Böhmerland to a penny farthing.
A 1937 Bohmerland 603cc Langtouren.
The long – a 1937 Böhmerland 603cc Langtouren. This three seater machine is one of Czechoslovakia’s most celebrated motorcycles, manufactured from 1925 until 1939. Designed by Albin Liebisch, the Böhmerland was remarkably unconventional with a lengthy, duplex-loop, tubular frame, and for the first time on a motorcycle – cast-alloy wheels. This legendary machine is estimated at £35,000-45,000.
The short – a c.1957 Moto Guzzi
Hispania Motoleggera 65. Two-strokes did not feature in the Moto Guzzi range until after WWII, when the extraordinarily successful Motoleggera 65 put a whole generation of Italians on two wheels. As Italy emerged from the chaos of war, the insatiable demand for basic transport was met by cyclemotors, scooters and lightweight motorcycles, which hitherto had had little impact on the domestic market. This small, ultra-lightweight example is estimated at £1,200-1,400.
A 1957 Moto Guzzi Hispania Motoleggera 65 will be auctioned off at Bonhams.
The tall – a c.1880 52” Ordinary bicycle. Also known as a penny farthing, it is undoubtedly far slower than the Motoleggera and Böhmerland, yet with immense charm. The machine has been restored and also features a ‘Super Baby’ lamp, cow bell and pan saddle with tan leather cover. This olde-world gem is estimated at £600-1,000.
Ben Walker, Head of the Motorcycles Department at Bonhams comments, “the collection is extremely broad (as well as long, short and tall!) with estimates ranging from £600 up to £150,000. Our client has concentrated on many different time periods and genres of motorcycle and has managed to assemble a magnificent array of machines – it is certainly one of the very best collections to be offered on the open market in recent times.”
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