Pre-1950s motorbikes ride to success at Bonhams

Sales of one-owner collections never fail to excite the serious motorcycle collector, and the Pamplona Collection proved no exception.

Bonhams' sale was held on Saturday, February 27 at the RAF Museum, Hendon, UK and boasted an extraordinarily diverse assembly of machines alongside aeronautical exhibits.

Pre-sale interest had been running at a high level, and hundreds of eager enthusiasts attended the final sale day.

Consisting mainly of motorcycles manufactured before 1950, the collection - numbering more than 100 bikes - had been assembled over the past few years for the enjoyment of the owner's friends and family, and was housed at various locations before transferring to a purpose-built museum home 12 months ago.

By the time the hammer fell on the final lot, 88% of the 109 machines offered had been sold for a premium-inclusive total of £1,033,855, a quite outstanding achievement.

The restored 1929 Cleveland Tornado four-cylinder, sold for £48,800

The collection's best result was achieved by an American motorcycle, the restored 1929 Cleveland Tornado four-cylinder, which sold for a premium-inclusive £48,800 against a top estimate of £40,000.

Four-cylinder motorcycles were one of the Collection's themes - other top performers in this category being the brace of American-built Hendersons, dating from circa 1920 and 1931, which sold for £29,325 and £36,150 respectively.

Other 'fours' featuring strongly included the 1911 FN solo (£22,425), circa 1928 Indian Ace (£29,900), 1926 FN combination (£24,725) and 1936 Indian 'upside down' Model 436 (£31,050).

"It was a pleasure to organise and orchestrate the sale of this collection," said Ben Walker, Head of Bonhams' Motorcycle Department.

"Every member of the Bonhams motorcycle team contributed to the success, the results reflecting not only the hard work and effort put into the sale, but also the overall condition of the motorcycles.

"Our client was overjoyed with the successful outcome and percentage sold," he said.

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