H&H Classic Auctions have a strong entry for their first motorcycle and bicycle sale of 2007, which takes place at the magnificent Centaur Complex, Cheltenham Racecourse on March 1. They will be looking to build on the success of last year, when they set three new world motorcycle sale records.

Manx mania

Last year H&H raised the ceiling for 350cc Manx Nortons to a tad under £24,750($48,830) and then smashed the price barrier for the 500cc-engined versions, leaving it at almost £32,000($63,130). Following these new world records, it’s not surprising that a brace of these sought-after machines features amongst the early entries for the motorcycle auction at Cheltenham.

The superb 1956 30M 500cc was totally rebuilt in 1978 by Ray Petty and features his five-speed PGT gearbox. The present owner bought the Norton in 1989 and though not raced it, has taken part in numerous concours competitions - it has won a number of Norton Owners’ Club awards. Bearing Geoff Duke’s autograph on the petrol tank, this lovely Manx is being sold complete with Ray Petty’s original correspondence and invoices, its concours trophies and press coverage.

The 1956/7 40M 350cc Norton has been in its current ownership for 25 years and was fitted with a Triumph 650cc engine when the present owner acquired it. He replaced the non-standard Triumph unit with an ex-Harry Whitehouse 350cc OHC Manx engine prior to racing the Manx for a couple of years in vintage and classic races. An old biking accident injury then forced him to retire, after which the engine was thoroughly overhauled by renowned Manx Norton tuner Phil Kettle. The Manx has only been ridden for some 20 laps round Pembrey circuit since.

Other offerings

Other entries for Cheltenham on March 1 include the last production Vincent Black Prince. This splendid 1955 machine carries an estimate of £32,000-36,000($63,130-71,000). Also on the entry list are a 1950 A.J.S. 7R that has been unused since it was restored in 1991, and a 1975 Gilera Arcore that has been in the same ownership from new.

Restoration projects on offer include a Velocette Venom, a 1950 Vincent Comet and a dismantled 1951 Vincent Rapide.

Bicycle booty

Early entries for the first H&H bicycle sale of 2007 include a 1970 Cinelli Milano, a 1980 Carlton Continental and a 1960 Higgins Ultra Light Tricycle.

The final 2006 H&H auction for two-wheelers also saw bicycles performing strongly, with the beautifully crafted 1987 Hetchins Magnum Opus fetching way over estimate at almost £1,000($1,970) and a Penny Farthing exceeding the £1,000 barrier.

Source: www.easier.com

Anthony Kodack
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