Racing royalty is up for sale next month in possible one of the most prestigious motorcycle auctions in years.
The Bonhams auction on January 9 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas includes one of the best collections of historic Ducatis in the world and a big collection of rare Harleys including the earliest known Sportster.
Now, two exceptional race bikes have been added to the impressive auction collection.
The first is one of only two factory-supplied, purpose-built ex-1973 Daytona 200 1972 BMW F750 models modified by tuner Udo Geitl of Butler & Smith, the BMW importers for America.
The other is a 1950 Isle of Man Clubman TT-winning 1947 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide ridden to victory by Alex Phillip.
The surprisingly fast and powerful R75/5s Geitl uprated for Team Butler & Smith stunned the world and changed the image of BMW in America from that of a stuffy tourer to a sporting machine.
This particular F750 was an official entrant in the 1973 Daytona 200 with BMW rider Kurt Leibmann alongside its twin ridden by Reg Pridmore.
The 1947 Vincent Rapide was owned by larger-than-life British war hero “Mad Jack” Churchill.
Soon after its Isle of Man win, the Rapide was uprated to full Black Lightning specifications and performed, in the words of Phillip, “like a rocketship” before being sold to the daring and eccentric Lt. Colonel Churchill of WWII commando fame.
They join the Silverman Museum Racing Collection of Ducatis (read my story here) and the Pierce Family Museum Collection of Harley-Davidsons (read my story here) along with many other diverse and important motorcycles.