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Motorcycle auction raises £2.2m

An annual motorcycle auction, including lots belonging to Top Gear duo James May and Richard Hammond, has achieved record sales of £2.2 million.

Auction house Bonhams said its Spring Stafford Sale of pioneer, vintage and collectors' motorbikes had far surpassed all previous years, and seen 86% of lots sold.

All 12 machines entered into the sale at the County Showground in Stafford by May and Hammond found a buyer, raising them a combined £77,625.

Meanwhile, a 1939 Vincent HRD Series-A Rapide - once rescued from being scrapped - achieved the highest sale price, fetching £275,900.

British machines proved particularly popular, with a 1937 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp selling for £147,100, more than three times its highest estimate.

Ben Walker, international director of Bonhams Motorcycle department, said: "We've seen some fantastic prices, with new precedent being set.

"The level of enthusiasm at Stafford is always brilliant, with people travelling from across the globe to attend."

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams co-chairman and auctioneer at the sale, said: "We saw many new collectors entering the market with strong bidding from English collectors and continentals alike.

"We witnessed investment bidding, but the market as usual is supported by enthusiasts."

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