James May and Richard Hammond Nets A Combined $117K From Bonhams Auction
James May and Richard Hammond may be sitting idle these days, but the two former hosts of Top Gear found themselves on the busy end of auction activities at the Bonhams event this weekend. May and Hammond were both in attendance to auction off a handful of their classic motorcycles and as expected, all 12 bikes from their combined lot found new owners by the time the event had finished.
May, in particular, had eight bikes up for auction, including a 1974 Yamaha FS1-E that fetched £7,475, or about $11,400 based on current exchange rates. He also had a 1979 Suzuki TS250 that sold for £2,185 ($3,330), a 1973 Honda CD175 that sold for £1,725 ($2,630), and a 2010 Yamaha SR400 ‘Grievous Angel’ that sold for £10,350 ($15,780).
Meanwhile, Hammond’s four-bike lot also garnered significant attention, none more than his 2010 Norton Commando 961SE, which reached a high bid of £15,180, or well over $23,000 based on current exchange rates.
The two hosts combined to make a total of £77,625 ($118,400) from the auction. The amount may not be as big as some of the checks they cashed when they were still hosting Top Gear, but it’s still enough to at least afford them a few month’s worth of groceries and house repairs.
For its part, Bonhams came away as the biggest winner from auction after selling 86 percent of the lots it had consigned for the sale, totalling a cool £2.2 million ($3.3 million), including £275,900 ($418,000) for the top lot of the event, a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide.
Continue reading to read more about May and Hammond’s Bonhams auction experience.
Why it matters
It’s nice to see Hammond and May keeping themselves busy as they try to decide what the next course of action would be for their careers after exiting Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson. Obviously, being part of Bonham’s Stafford Sale was a far better use of their time than spending hours upon hours uploading non-sensical, albeit hilarious videos on YouTube.
I’m not quite sure what their rationale is for selling off a chunk of their motorcycle collections, but I don’t think money’s the biggest reason behind it. The two made significant chunks of cha-ching during their decade-run as Top Gear hosts and I don’t quite fancy Hammond and May as the free-spending types ala Floyd Mayweather.
If anything, the two may have finally found the time to reorganize their collections and determined that the bikes they put up for auction as expendable ones that deserved to find new owners.
I’m not speaking as a person who knows any insider information. This is just an outsider’s observation. Nobody except Captain Slow and the Hamster really knows why they had some of their collections auctioned off. But I do know that these bikes will find new owners who will take care of them as much as - maybe even more - Hammond and May did when they were still under their ownerships.
Everybody came out a winner here, proving that despite the events that led to their exit from Top Gear, James May and Richard Hammond can still make the news for entirely positive reasons.