19th October 2012
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Classic Bikes at Bonhams Auction
The biannual Bonhams auction takes place on Sunday as part of the Stafford Show. While most people will be watching the posh lots, we're more interested in the bidding at the bread-and-butter end of the business...
Buying at a traditional auction does involve some faffing: ideally you need to view the lots beforehand to set your top price for your intended purchase. It's best to turn over the engine (and check that there are actually some lumps of metal inside those shiny cases…), check the paintwork for bubbles and hidden rust, and review the paperwork in person. Then you have to hang around the auction hall at exactly the right moment, acting nonchalant until leaping in with the winning bid. Thereafter, you've got some more hanging around to do until the sale finishes, whereupon you must remove your new P&J pronto, before you're charged a storage fee. It probably won't be in ride-away nick, so make sure your mate with the van or trailer hasn't gone home early. Oh, and don't forget to register before you bid, and make sure you have cash or enough instant credit on your card to pay in full.
Phew. Sounds like hard work, but it's just a matter of being patient, really. And there are times when patience pays off. The big posh sales tend to attract big posh bidders for the big posh lots; the Vincents and Inters and Broughs and such which go for huge money. Yet the early part of the auction always contains a motley crew of more mainstream motorcycles, many of which are overlooked. We regularly see some of these bikes offered for private sale some weeks later, sometimes with an MoT, frequently with a grand or two added to the price tag. So here are some of the classic bikes we'll be watching this weekend...
Lot 274: 1971 BSA Thunderbolt
Lot 292: 1964 Triumph TRW
Lot 359: 1989 Ducati Paso
Lot 352. 1954 Matchless G3LS
Lot 274: 1969 BSA Starfire
There's another 350-plus lots to view here: www.bonhams.com/auctions/19768
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