1939 Vincent motorcycle rescued from scrap leads Bonhams auction

It was once destined for the scrap yard - but now a rare vintage 1939 Vincent motorcycle is heading to the Bonhams auction block instead.

The company's annual Stafford sale of rare motorcycles and memorabilia on April 26 will include a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide, one of just 65 in existence.

Vincent motorcycle
The motorcycle spent 15 years in a spare bedroom

The rare machine, from one of the world's most sought-after motorcycle marques, is expected to sell for £220,000-£260,000 ($333,570-$394,220).

In 1959, 20 years after it left the factory in Stevenage, the Vincent was acquired by enthusiast Harry Lloyd for the cost of £10 and an Amal TT carburettor. After restoration and a decade of riding around Britain, Lloyd dismantled the machine in preparation for a further restoration and left it stored in a local lock-up garage.

But it would be a further 10 years before the work began, and only then after the Vincent was rescued from destruction.

An administrative error meant the garage was emptied, and Lloyd's beloved motorcycles were dumped in a skip outside, headed for the scrap yard. Arriving in the nick of time, Lloyd recovered the Vincent and took it to the safer location of his spare bedroom, where it remained for the next 15 years.

"In 2007, restoration of the Vincent finally began, but, sadly, Mr. Lloyd passed away before seeing the finished rebuild," said Ben Walker, the international director of the motorcycle department at Bonhams.

"No doubt he would have been very proud of the finished machine. Seven years of restoration have resulted in a magnificent motorcycle completed to Concours standard. The Stafford auction offers the rare opportunity to acquire this highly desirable machine, one of the holy grails of the motorcycle world, and a must for any major collection."

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