When is a watch worth as much as a rare motorcycle?
When it’s AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mike Hailwood’s.
The Bonhams auction house sold off rare motorcycles and motorcycling memorabilia in Stafford, England, on Oct. 19. A 1927 Brough Superior Overhead 680 project bike (above) sold for £92,000, which translates into $117,998. It was the most expensive machine sold at the auction.
Bonhams says the bike was purchased in 1955 for £40 ($51) and stayed in the family until this auction. It was restored several times over the years, and last registered for the road in 1990.
A Heuer fine ‘Carrera’ wristwatch, presented to AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and nine-time motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion Hailwood by former company chairman Jack Heuer, sold for £56,312, or $72,226. That was four times the amount the auction house thought the watch would sell for.
Bonhams says the 18k gold watch bore the personal engraving: “To Mike Hailwood for a successful 1973 Jack Heuer.” Hailwood was racing cars that year. The auction house says the watch inscription is a reference to Hailwood’s bravery in helping rescue an unconscious Clay Regazzoni from his burning Ferrari at the South African Grand Prix after the two collided on the second lap of the race.
Fewer than 500 of this model watch, the 1158CHN Carrera, are believed to have been produced.
Also at the auction, called The Autumn Stafford Sale, which was held at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, a 1960 Viscount 1,000cc, property of Eric Patterson, AMA speed record holder, sold for £63,250 ($81,124); a 1957 Norton Manx-JAP 1,150cc also owned by Patterson sold for £41,400 ($53,099); a 1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 sold for £72,450 ($92,923); a 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RR Special Edition brought in £10,925 ($14,012) and a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition sold for £7,590 ($9,734).
Also, a 2016 Harley-Davidson 1,570cc Custom Cycle “White Unique” signed by his Holiness Pope Francis and donated to the Pontifical Mission Societies, sold for £48,300 ($61,949), with the proceeds donated to charity.
Visit www.bonhams.com/autumnstafford for the full auction results.