Former volunteer firefighter John England is selling his collection of Aussie motorcycle racing memorabilia and donating a portion to aid the bushfire appeal.
John says his collection of 22 commemorative bottles of Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix port, six Mick Doohan plates, various mirrors, signed prints and collectible toys could be worth as much as $10,000.
He is also selling his 1981 Honda Bol d’Or 900, bored out to 1000cc, with handmade exhausts.
John and his wife, Rose, plan to retire this year and hit the road in their caravan, towing their Can-Am Spyder around the country.
“We don’t want this collection gathering dust in storage, so we thought we would sell it,” John says.
“I used to be a volunteer firefighter, so we’d be happy to make a donation of a portion of the sale of this collection.”
“I just want it go to a motorcycle lover who appreciates it.”
He says he would prefer to sell it as one collection and the bike separately.
However, he would also consider splitting it up, preferably in groups such as all the ports or all six commemorative plates honouring Mick’s five consecutive GP titles plus a sixth lap of honour plate.
John, a former Sydney track racer, started collecting when he bought the first Australian GP port for $25 in 1989.
John has been told by the seller of the commemorative port that his first bottle could now be worth as much as $500.
“How that didn’t get drunk I’ll never know,” he laughs.
“It was all bought to drink. I’d usually buy two bottles each year; drink one and keep one.”
The commemorative port line ceased in 2008 and John has one from each year.
He also has a Harley-Davidson-styled port holder with six ports released each year. He says the “gearbox” bottle of port, alone, cost $196.
Most of the items in his collection come with certificates or letters of authenticity.
If you are interested in buying his collection and helping the bushfire appeal, you can contact John on 0408 880616.
To help people looking to donate safely and effectively, the National Bushfire Recovery Agency has published a list of registered charities that accept tax deductible donations and are running bushfire appeals.
The initiative is in response to the difficulty for many in identifying charities and fundraisers with the capacity to deliver relief and whose focus is on bushfire relief or recovery.
People who want to donate to a charity should check the charity’s details on the ACNC Charity Register acnc.gov.au/findacharity. To confirm if their chosen charity has tax deductible status, they can access the ABN link on a charity’s record.