Rare and Unusual Bikes Offered at Bonham’s Summer Auction

Some rare and unusual machines are being offered for sale at the Bonhams auction Aug. 14-16, 2020 at the Stafford County Showground at Bicester Heritage in England. They include a 1954 175cc Mondial Bialbero roadracer, 1958 Moto Guzzi 192cc Galletto and a 1909 Minerva 3.5 horsepower with a wicker sidecar.

The 1954 FB 175cc Mondial Bialbero racer is expected to fetch between $52,000 and $78,000 at the auction. Bonhams says: “The 175cc class was an important one in continental Europe and the 125 was duly bored-out from 53mm to 66mm to achieve the required extra capacity. Revving to 9,000 rpm, it produced 20 bhp-plus. Riding one of the new 175cc Mondial singles in 1954, rising star Tarquinio Provini won the arduous eight-day 1,989-mile Moto Giro d’Italia to start his debut season as a works rider in fine style.”

This 175cc racer is an ex-factory machine ridden in the Italian Senior Championship in 1955/1956 by Provini and others. The machine was restored except for the original fairing and rear enclosure that still have their original factory paintwork.

The 1958 Moto Guzzi 192cc Galletto scooter in original condition is expected to sell for between $390 and $650. Although it was a scooter it was supposed to offer the handling qualities of a motorcycle with motorcycle parts such as a tubular steel spine frame combined with sheet metal pressings, a leading-link front fork and a single-sided rear swingarm.

The 1909 Minerva 3.5 horsepower with a wicker sidecar is expected to sell for between $33,000 and $46,000. Bonhams says the bike “was extensively rallied both at home and overseas as evidenced by the numerous rally plaques displayed on the wicker sidecar. The machine also carries RAC and AA badges and a Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Badge, having taken part in the prestigious Pioneer Run regularly during (Joseph Arthur) Whitmarsh’s ownership. The bike is equipped with an acetylene headlamp and Binks carburettor, and enjoys the benefit of a Sturmey-Archer three-speed gearbox.”

A 1956 Rumi 125c Formichino is expected to sell for between $6,500 and $10,000.  Bonhams notes: “Rumi was founded in Bergamo, Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. The company originally supplied components to the textile industry and during World War II produced miniature submarines and torpedoes. Headed by Donnino Rumi, it switched to motorcycle manufacture at the war’s end, introducing its first Turismo model in 1950. This little gem was powered by what would become Rumi’s trademark engine, a 125cc parallel twin two-stroke, the cylinders of which were inclined horizontally.”

A 50cc four-stroke Pegaso is expected to fetch between $2,600 and $5,200. Bonhams says this Italian company, not to be confused with the Spanish car manufacturer of the same name, built 50cc four-stroke motorcycles and mopeds. All the machines featured the same engine and three-speed transmission. Most also had steel spine frames, telescopic forks and swingarm rear suspension.

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