Jay Leno’s late friend auctions bikes for charity

Robert White riding his Gilera 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle recreation at the 2006 Southern 100. The model is now offered at an estimate of £50,000-60,000 Jay Lenio


A collection of rare motorcycles, cars, watches and cameras owned by a close friend of TV personality and motorcycle and car fanatic Jay Leno is being auctioned for charity.

The Robert White Collection will be sold at Bonhams on September 19, 2016.  

Close friend Jay Leno described Robert as a man who “took more pleasure from his possessions than any man I have ever met.”

The sale is expected to raise more than £2 million, with all proceeds set to fund advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment in Robert White’s home county of Dorset.

The entrepreneur and businessman died in 2015 of cancer. Bonhams co-chairman Malcolm Barber said Robert was “an enthusiast of all things mechanical” who had an “adoration for motorcycles”.

“The sale is a showcase of his life’s passion, with more than 500 lots set to raise more than £2 million for charity,” he says.

It was his love of motorcycles that first connected Robert with Jay.

Jay Leno and Robert
Jay and Robert

The friends bonded over a love of Brough Superior motorcycles, and before Robert died in 2015, he sold his Brough Superiors to Leno. The funds from the sale have been used to support the creation of a brand new cancer treatment centre at Dorset County Hospital and new diagnostic facilities at Poole Hospital, both overseen by the latter’s Dorset Cancer Centre.

“We spent time together in England before he died,” Jay says. “He didn’t feel sorry for himself or ‘woe-is-me’. He realistically faced up to his position and decided he wanted to give something back to the people in Poole Hospital who had helped him with his illness.”

The September auction includes a Gilera 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle which he rode in the 2006 Southern 100. It is expected to fetch £50,000-60,000.

Robert White riding his Gilera 500cc Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle recreation at the 2006 Southern 100. The model is now offered at an estimate of £50,000-60,000 Jay Lenio
Robert riding his Gilera 500cc

Other motorcycles featured in the collection include:

  • c.1929 Megola 640cc Touring Model, estimated at £120,000-140,000

    1929 Megola 640cc touring model Jay Lenio
    1929 Megola 640cc touring model
  • MV Agusta 500cc 4-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £70,000-90,0000
  • 1974 Ducati 750SS, estimated at £60,000-70,000
  • 1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow, estimated at £50,000-70,000
  • MV Agusta 500cc 3-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £80,000-100,000

    MV Agusta 500 Jay Lenio
    MV Agusta 500

The Robert White Collection auction will be held at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London on Monday September 19, 2016.

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