In two weeks, Bonhams will be hosting their annual Autumn auction at the Staffordshire County Showground. This year there are 539 lots – here are five of the oddest:
1. 1993 Honda NR750 – estimated to sell between $78,000-$100,000.
Honda has built some amazing motorcycles over the last few decades, but one of the most incredible was the RC40. You probably know it as the NR. It was a technological tour-de-force that utilized oval pistons, carbon fiber bodywork, a titanium-tinted screen, and 7 different sensors just to control the fuel injection! Because this bike had more computing power than Apollo 13, the NR had a MSRP of approximately $50k, which as approximately 5 times as much as Honda’s previous top of the line sportbike. This example (1 of 200) was sold new in Switzerland and made its way to France in 2002. It has stayed there in a private collection on a trickle charger since, with less than 1,000 miles on the odometer.
2. 1997 MRD Metisse 650cc Aprilia Special – estimated to sell between $1,800-$2,600.
I mean, just look at this thing! It’s a custom with a MRD (Pat French’s firm that took over the rights to continue building the Rickman frames) Metisse enveloping the 650cc single from an Aprilia Pegaso. It’s going to need lots of work, but it’s so quirky that I just had to share it.
3. 1982 Kawasaki Z1500 ‘Turbo Special’– estimated to sell between $5,200-$7,800.
As if the 120 horsepower, six-cylinder Z1300 wasn’t enough, a former Cosworth engineer bored a motor out to 1,504cc and then slapped a turbo on it. The documentation unfortunately does not have full specifications such as the new horsepower figure, but this is just a staggeringly absurd idea and I love it. Take a second look to make sure you see the anti-dive fork as well.
4. 1961 BSA Bantam 242cc British Anzani Special – estimated to sell between $1,900-$2,600.
Yet another one-off build, this combines a BSA Bantam Super with a prototype water-cooled 250cc from British Anzani. British Anzani was a spinoff of Anzani, a French engine manufacturer founded by an Italian – Alessandro Anzani. The company was based in Paris and they created engines for motorcycles, small cars, and radial motors for airplanes. Impressively, this custom build goes back to the 60s, and according to the paperwork the mileage was 93,716 in the mid 1990s. It has not been ridden since then so it will need some work, but a spare motor (Bonhams believes it’s the only other Anzani water-cooled 250 motor in existence) will be included in the sale.
5. 1968 Pannonia T5 with Motorkuli Trailer – estimated to sell between $3,900-$5,200.
Pannonia was a Hungarian motorcycle manufacturer that produced over a million bikes between 1954 and 1975. While their range of motorcycle engines included a boxer twin and a vertical twin, the most common motor they built was a two-stroke single as featured in this T5. The 250cc smoker in this bike was good for approximately 16 horsepower, just enough to handle the extra weight a sidecar or trailer. When this bike was released, cars were expensive in Hungary – so sidecars were often used as family transportation. The motorcycle is already rare and cool in Europe, but the addition of the also-Hungarian-built Motorkuli trailer is icing on the cake. Motorkuli built approximately 3,000 units, and their trailers could carry ~50 pounds at up to ~50 miles per hour.
There are over 500 lots full of cool bikes (most of which are much more “normal than what I’ve featured here) like this MV Agusta 750S or this rotary-powered Norton Commander. To check out the full list of goodies, head on over to Bonhams!