Some of the finest classic and modern racing motorcycles will be offered at RM Sotheby's Villa Erba auction, as a single-owner collection goes under the hammer.
RM Sotheby’s will not only be gracing Italy’s Lake Como with the usual selection of rare and interesting cars as part of this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este auction, but also an array of special motorcycles.
The sale features machines from a single-owner collection, dubbed Café Racer to the Superbike. The collection includes a selection of concours-condition and race-winning motorcycles from the past 100 years.
Among the machines on sale is the 1928 Brough Superior SS110 ‘Moby Dick’ – one of Brough Superior’s most celebrated models during the peak of its production in the pre war period.
Known as the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles, these machines not only fast and beastly; they were luxurious too. So luxurious, in fact, that Lawrence of Arabia owned eight of them. He was in fact killed riding one.
So it’s unsurprising that this 1140cc motorcycle, which has been especially tuned by George Brough himself, has an estimate of €500,000 to €700,000.
Also on sale is the the 1938 Brough Superior SS80 Deluxe (estimated at €100,000 to €150,000) and a 1933 Brough Superior De Luxe (estimated at €120,000 to €180,000) bought from the marque’s new owner, Mark Upham.
Other machines on sale include the Scuderia Duke 1957 Gilera 500 ‘4-Cilindri’, which – like the Broughs – is also vying for top motorcycle billing at the RM sale. This particular example was the last of 15 racing 500cc GPs made by Gilera.
The machine on sale was raced by Derek Minter, John Hartle and Phil Read in period and was by many to be the ‘sweet spot’ of the Gilera Fours, undergoing many re-designs throughout its production life. It is unusual for a model of this rarity to be offered for public sale and that, of course, is reflected in the estimated price of €380,000 to €450,000.
The sale also features a fair share of Italian superbikes, including a 2010 MV Agusta 500 3-Cilindri, the last of six collaboration bikes created with World Champion Giacomo Agostini. This machine is estimated at €200.000-€250.000.
The sale also features a delightful Egli-Vincent and a 1963 Manx Norton 30M, believed to be Jack Ahearn’s winning bike from the 1964 Finnish Grand Prix (estimated at €50.000-€70.000).
European auction manager Augustin Sabatié-Garat said: ‘Moto-Icons is without question one of the finest motorcycle collections ever offered at auction. It’s both a great privilege and thrill for our team to present some of the most coveted American, British and Italian bikes from one set, in one place, at one auction.’
‘From the incredible selection of Brough Superiors, led by Moby Dick, to some of the best Italian sports and race bikes, highlighted by the Gilera Four and other important machines such as Egli-Vincent, the group certainly provides a unique and exciting opportunity for collectors. We can’t wait to bring the collection to market next month and look forward to welcoming enthusiasts to Villa Erba, where they can also take in the fantastic motorcycle concours.’