Australia’s growing fascination with classic motorcycles and café racers was underscored at Shannons Sydney Summer Auction on February 4, when the largest collection of ‘no reserve’ Honda motorcycles ever offered at auction in Australia realised $68,000.
The nine classic Hondas spanning the years 1965-1988 represented a small part of a significant NSW motorcycle collection and were sold by their elderly enthusiast owner as part of a rationalisation of his two-wheel assets.
“It was a really pleasing result that confirmed the resurgence of interest in these classic bikes,” said Shannons National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon.
“Many motoring enthusiasts are realising that bikes from this era have increasing collectable value and are easy to store and display.
“At Shannons we have seen a marked increase in interest in them in recent years, fuelled in part by the emerging fascination with the 1970s and 1980s Café Racers, which are becoming an individual fashion statement in themselves.”
The Hondas were amongst 18 motorcycles from Japan, the UK and the US in the auction, which was held in Shannons St.Leonards, Sydney showroom before a large crowd of more than 500 people.
The highlight sale of the Honda collection was a stunning circa 1965 Honda Dream 305cc twin cylinder, which sold comfortably above its high estimate for $14,500.
When introduced in 250cc form in 1959, the Dream was Honda’s first large capacity export motorcycle.
Finished in distinctive Honda red, the CB77 model Dream auctioned had just emerged from a ground-up restoration to show condition and was 100 per cent correct in every detail, according to the vendor.
Meanwhile a circa 1988 Honda XBR500 single cylinder motorcycle that had never been registered and had covered just 1km since delivery sold with no reserve for $6,000.
Other notable sales from the Honda collection were:
• a circa 1980 CBX1000 in original condition sold for $10,500
• a circa 1972 CB750/4 K2 in unrestored but correct condition made $9,600
• a circa 1975 CB550/4 still well presented after an older restoration brought $7,000
• a circa 1972 CB350/4 with its odometer showing just 27,756km went for $6.500, as did a circa 1968 CB72 250cc Twin.
Amongst the other motorcycles in the auction, the top result was $12,000 paid for a circa 1954 fully-restored Triumph Tiger T110.