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Brits & Italians head auction results

British and Italian motorcycles were flavour of the week at the recent Donington classic auction, while project bikes, books and bits found a strong audience

(April 16, 2024, by Guy 'Guido' Allen)


While the overall collectible motorcycle and car market is a little low at the moment, the recent Donington auction out of Melbourne (Australia) showed there is still money out there for the right lot. Picking what that is isn't always easy...


The low-mile, stock and running 1975 Norton Commando MkIII above pulled strong interest thanks to its exceptional original condition, busting the pre-sale estimate at Au$31,000 (US$20,000, GB£16,000).

              series c

Vincent V-twins seem to be an evergreen. This complete 1949 Series C Rapide, with non-matching numbers and in need of an extensive refresh, sold for Au$62,000 (US$40,000, GB£32,000).

ariel square

Continuing the project bike theme, this 1956 Ariel Square Four MkII sold for a  strong Au$16,600 (US$10,700, GB£8600).


For us, the buy of the auction was this: a 1969 Triumph Trident T150. It was an exceptional low-mile survivor which had been recommissioned a year or two earlier. It went for Au$15,400 (US$9900, GB£8000).

mv agusta sport 350

There was plenty of interest in the Italian gems on offer, and it was this 1971 MV Agusta 350 Sport which got everyone's attention, fetching an impressive Au$26,000 (US$16,700, GB£13,400).

It was given to the previous owner, a Mrs C King of Sydney, by a grateful MV Agusta team which at the time included Giacomo Agostini. There's no doubt the back-story helped.

mv agusta 125

Just to prove the 350 wasn't a stand-alone, this 1971 125 GTL-S fetched a very solid Au$16,800 (US$10,800, GB£8700).

ducati 750 sport

More mainstream Ducati models got decent if not show-stopping results. This 1974 Ducati 750 Sport pulled Au$70,500 (US$45,300, GB£36,300)...

              860 gt

...while this early and exceptional 1975 Ducati 860 GT sold for a relatively modest Au$18,000 (US$11,600, GB£9300).


There was a smattering of interesting Japanese motorcycles in the mix, including an early Honda VFR750 and CBX1000 Prolink, plus a second-model Suzuki RE5.

In need of recommissioning and very complete, the 1972 Suzuki GT750J above was arguably the pick and went for Au$8800 (US$5700, GB£4500).

              irving book

And now for some little surprises in the memorabilia and parts section. There is a quiet trade out there in low-volume motoring and motorcycle books, which sometimes attract surprising prices. This is one – Australian Vincent and Repco Brabham engineer Phil Irving's autobiography. It fetched Au$520 (US$330, GB£270).

              norton parts

And, finally, proof that hope springs eternal with this collection of parts said to be a near-complete pre-1956 Manx Norton 500 engine. It fetched Au$5300 (US$3400, GB£2700).

See our auction page.

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