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Bonhams To Sell Garelli Grand Prix Collection At No Reserve

Wed, 28 Nov 2012

Mark your calendars for February 5 and 6, 2013, as those are the dates when Bonhams — one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine arts and antiques — will put for sale two motorcycle collections which include some incredibly rare and historic machines.

The Grand Palais in Paris, France will play host to the auction, which includes the entire Garelli Grand Prix collection as its headliner. Founded in 1919, many famous Italian racers got their starts on Garelli motorcycles. Names like Ernesto Gnesa, Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi can all trace their roots back to the Garelli brand.

Two dozen Garelli racing motorcycles are up for bidding, mainly from the company’s heyday in the early 1980s, where it won six consecutive world titles between 1982 and 1987, with some pre-war machines included as well. All the motorcycles, which were housed by their current owner in a private chapel, will be sold at no reserve.

Highlights from this collection include the 1963 50cc Monza world-record breaker, complete with its “dustbin” fairing, a 1983 Garelli 50cc racer which Eugenio Lazzerini rode to the world title that year, and a 1987 125cc twin which won Garelli’s sixth rider’s World Championships and fourth manufacturer’s title. Estimated worth of these machines range from $15,000 for the 1980s racers, all the way to $90,000 for the 1963 model.

Two non-Garelli motorcycles also up for auction include the Honda RC30 American World Superbike Champion Fred Merkel rode during the 1989/1990 season (estimated worth: $26,000 – $39,000) and a 1989 Yamaha TZ250 Frenchman Jean-Francois Balde competed on during his final season of Grand Prix racing (estimated worth: $4000 – $6500).

A second collection co-headlines the Bonham auction, and is comprised of 55 motorcycles all belonging to the late Claude Leselier. Highlights (and estimated values) from this collection include:

1935 Magnat Debon 750cc VMA v-twin ($10,000 - $15,000) 1950 Terrot 500cc RGST ($6000 - $8500) 1945 Terrot 350cc JSS ($4000 - $5000) 1929 Rhonyx 500cc GX ($7500 - $13,000) 1930 Dollar 500cc S3 ($6500 - $8000) 1927 Automoto 500cc AL11 Supersport ($13,000 - $19,500) c.1921 Magnat Debon 250cc ($8500 - $11,000) 1918 Harley-Davidson Model 18F Combination ($21,000 - $26,000) 1916 Indian 1,000cc Powerplus ($26,000 - $32,000) 1930 Stylson 350cc RH ($5000 - $6500) 1931 Arbinet 350cc BSSC ($6500 - $9000)

Final entries for the auction are still being accepted. For further information about either of these collections, or anything else related to this auction, email

By Troy Siahaan

See also: Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Party Tickets Go On Sale in December, James Bond’s Honda CRF450R from Skyfall Raises $162,000 for Charity, Motorcycle Live and a few of my favourite things for 2013.