Oddities at auction

Bonhams sale includes unique machines

BONHAMS' annual auction at the Classic Motorcycle Show in Stafford on April 29 is set to include a few oddities alongside the usual slew of ancient ironmongery.

While the really big prices are expected to go to machines like a 1934 Brough Superior “two of everything” (est £150,000-£180,000) and a 1939 Vincent Rapide Series A (£180,000-£220,000), we're more interested in some of 'cheaper' offerings that have been confirmed for the sale.

These include the unique Triumph Bonneville ridden by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible III. Made in 2005, it was effectively a prototype for the Scrambler that Triumph launched in 2006. Actually a one-off, it differs from the production Scrambler in several aspects and has the addition attraction (?) of having been ridden by Tom Cruise, who – regardless if you like his movies or his tastes in oddball religious groups – has an eye for a decent bike. At an estimated £12-£15k, it's at the cheaper end of the sale's spectrum, too.

For those with deeper pockets, the one-off Ferrari-branded motorcycle made by David Kay Engineering in 1995 is also on sale (again) – but where in the past it's been offered for silly sums like £250,000, on this occasion it's 'only' expected to go for £75,000-£100,000. With a one-off, 105bhp 900cc inline-four it's certainly unique, even if that styling mightn't be to everyone's taste.

What should be to everyone's liking is the stunning 1977 Yamaha YSK3 ridden to the world 350cc GP title by Takazumi Katayama. At an estimated £50,000-£60,000 it's expensive, sure, but will it one day be worth much more than those £150,000-plus pre-war plodders that are going to make the biggest numbers of the day?