William Bunch is an auctioneer which offers a wide and varied range of collectibles with most of the items at a fairly achievable level for bidders.
Occasionally, some exceptionally valuable pieces are offered too, including an extremely rare and coveted Robert Aitken bible, and a Thomas Jefferson document. But the upcoming sale which has caught our eye is a sale of rare and collectible motorbikes.
One of the key lots is a Hindall Triumph 500 Desert sled, based upon a frame kit produced by Harry Hindall, a Southern California aerospace engineer and well respected 1970s desert racer.
Inspired by the Rickman Metisse chassis, Harry used his skills honed as a production engineer at Northrop Aerospace to build a superior frame out of thin wall 4130 chrome moly tubing, expertly brazed together (like a Rickman) and chrome plated.
Incredibly, these frames are almost 10 pounds lighter than a Metisse frame. Hindalls soon began to top the standings in the Open Expert class, and their lightness and legendary handling became widely known among desert racers as a result of articles published by Popular Cycling and other nationally distributed motorcycle magazines.
By the late 1970s, if you were serious about racing a Triumph in the desert, you either rode a Hindall or wished that you did.
The motor in this Hindall is a T100SC 500cc Triumph twin with factory ET ignition. Ceriani MX front forks and S&W rear shocks handle the suspension. The stock Triumph wheels have been completely rebuilt with new sealed bearings, rims imported from England, and Buchanan stainless steel spokes.
The original pipes were duplicated out of mandrel bent sections welded together, polished and show chromed. In other respects, the bike is in original condition, having only been stripped, cleaned and carefully re-assembled, serviced and tuned.
The body work is the original plastic supplied by Hindall; however, according to period literature, it will also accept Rickman Metisse Mark IV body work.
This is an exceedingly rare motorcycle, as of the approximately 250 frames built by Harry Hindall before his death, only two were made for the Triumph 500cc motor, and this is the only one which exists in its original configuration.
This Hindall chassis was built for a lady desert rider as a play bike in late 1976, towards the very end of Hindall production, and represents the final evolution of the Hindall chassis. It was garage kept and sporadically used by its owner in the California desert until 1986.
The bike was subsequently acquired by Bob and Linda Neilson, well known Las Vegas, Nevada collectors of custom framed race bikes, and remained in their collection until I purchased it last year. It is well known among Hindall collectors worldwide and is now ready to ride again.
The auctioneer has given the bike a broad estimate of $7,000-85,000 (or perhaps $70,000-85,000 was intended). It could make an excellent investment.
William Bunch's auction takes place on April 10 in Pennsylvania with online bidding available.