Barn-find British motorcycle collection to sell at Bonhams
A remarkable barn-find collection of British motorcycles, rediscovered after 25 years, will be sold at Bonhams later this month.
The John Keeley Collection features 45 unrestored motorcycles, including important examples from the early 1900s and rare machines from the interwar and post-war periods.
Almost every major British manufacturer is represented in the collection, including BSA, Velocette, Norton, Sunbeam, Ariel, Triumph, Douglas, Brough Superior, New Imperial and Zenith.
"John Keeley was born in Knowl Hill near Maidenhead, Berkshire," said Percy Austen, a close friend of the collection's late-owner. "From a young age he developed a love of old machinery and started his working life in the village garage. John also took up motorcycle scrambling at the Bagshot and Hungry Hill courses, riding against many of the great names of that era."
"To find so many unrestored motorcycles under one roof is incredibly rare," commented James Stensel, Bonhams Head of Collectors' Motorcycles. "John had an appreciation for originality and an eye for quality; his 1928 Triumph 494cc Model P (estimate £4,000-5,000) has the most incredible patina, whilst his 1934 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP (estimate £30,000-50,000) retains its original and matching frame, engine, gearbox and associated accessories."
The Bonhams Stafford Sale takes place as part of the annual Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at the Staffordshire County Showground on October 17-18.
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