The UK National Motorcycle Museum regularly hosts auctions of some of the rarest and most beautiful pieces of motorcycle history you could ever want to see. While the focus is often heavily centered on British bikes, plenty of other international gems make their way into the fold as well. On June 9, 2021, the Museum held its most recent auction, and several extremely interesting bikes made their way to new homes. Here are just a few.
Following WWII, Italy wasn’t the only country hungry for cheap, reliable personal transportation. For that reason, when Vespa first introduced its iconic scooters, it was more than just the Italian public who wanted to get their hands on one. Vespa licensed its design to some other manufacturers in other countries, including British company Douglas. A 1951 Vespa Douglas 125, which had a single owner since 1955 and was used by the seller to tour Scandinavia in 1955, sold for £10,925 (or about $15,092).
UK Laverda specialists Slater Laverda created this 1982 Laverda Slater Jota 120 formula prototype, which has only had four owners since it was new. It was restored at some point in the recent past, but hasn’t been ridden much since that time. It sold for £10,580 (or about $14,615).
Gallery: 2021 British National Motorcycle Museum Auction
Remember when Triumph tried its hand at making a scooter? OK, I wasn’t alive then, but there’s something pretty amazing about the overall styling of this 1959 Triumph Tigress. It was restored and placed on display for around 10 years, and comes with a Vintage Motor Scooter Club dating certificate. It sold for £4,830 (or around $6,672).
Those three are up at the more modern end of the spectrum, but there were plenty of pre-war offerings, as well. A 1920 NUT Model TT was originally bought by the seller in 1962 for just £35. In 2021, it sold for £33,350 (or about $46,070). This bike was professionally restored in the 1980s, and was used in many rallies and vintage motorcycle events. It last ran in 2016, which is pretty phenomenal, considering.
Rarer still is this 1914 Sparkbrook Vee Twin, which is the only known 1914 example still surviving, and one of only three Sparkbrook Vee Twins at all known to exist in 2021. Motorcycling may only have been around for slightly over a century, but the past is very much still with us. This bike sold for £43,700 (or about $60,368).
Topping this auction’s sales sheet was a 1937 Indian Four 437, restored to a concours standard by Bill Healing in 1984. It was last used on the road in 1995, but was started regularly up through 2018. The current owner has had it in their lives since 1967, and it raked in £95,450 (or about $131,856).