Sale of British Golden Age motorcycles for Bonhams Amelia Island

Those browsing Bonhams’ catalog for its Amelia Island auction might have noticed that a large percentage of the folder is taken up by classic British motorcycles.

The reason is the inclusion of the Charles Jacobs Collection, 46 motorcycles amassed over the years by the late Jacksonville, Florida resident and regular entrant in the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance motorcycle class.

While Bonhams’ annual Amelia Island auction, held this year on March 3, is usually dedicated to classic cars, Jacobs motorcycles make up a good proportion of the 180 vehicles that will pass through the block.

“Offered entirely without reserve, the (Jacobs) collection includes some of the most prestigious and rare names in British motorcycling history – from Brough Superior to Vincent – and offers motorcycling enthusiasts a rare opportunity to acquire these examples of its golden age,” Bonhams said in a press release. “In addition, proceeds from the sale of one of the lots, a 1954 Norton Big 4, will be donated to a local charity.”

Motorcycle group highlights include:

1936 Brough Superior SS-80 Incomparable, known as the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles, with a polished Watsonian sidecar fitted to the left side for British roads. Estimated value between $80,000 and $100,000.


1951 Vincent 499cc Cometestimated between $20,000 and $30,000, presented at the Amelia Island competition.


Circa-1927 Grindlay Peerless SO4 Model 350 Single-port JAP “Dog Ear”, a rare machine from the short-lived pre-war British sidecar turned motorcycle manufacturer, which produced the first 500cc motorcycle to exceed 100mph on British soil. Estimated between $30,000 and $40,000.


1934 Ariel 4F Square Four, also known as the Squariel, this innovative model remains unique in motorcycle history, with its unique four-cylinder block and twin geared crankshafts with 180-degree phased pistons. Estimated between $25,000 and $35,000.


1938 Triumph Tiger 90, an overhead valve single that was part of a revamped Triumph range introduced in 1937, created by chief designer Edward Turner, who had previously been responsible for the Ariel Square Four. Estimated between $20,000 and $30,000.


1963 BSA 499cc Gold Star, one of the last examples of BSA’s legendary café racer, one of the most successful production motorcycles. “This DBD 500cc model is considered the ultimate ‘Goldie’ with its famous RRT2 close ratio gearbox and standard 190mm front brake,” Bonhams says in its description. Estimated between $15,000 and $20,000.


1954 Norton Big 4, named after the company’s first motorcycle driven by its own in-house engine, the 633cc ‘Big 4’ was the most powerful machine in Norton’s lineup. Proceeds from the sale of this motorcycle will benefit Spina Bifida of Jacksonville. Estimated between $8,000 and $12,000.

“Motorcycles have rarely been offered at the various auctions held over the years during Amelia Island Concours week, and Bonhams is delighted to finally fill that gap with the Charles Jacobs collection,” said Mathieu Guyot- Sionnest, Bonhams US Motoring specialist.

In addition to these 46 motorcycles, eight cars will be offered from the Jacobs collection, all without reserve, led by an elegant 1934 Packard Series 1101 Eight Club Sedan, estimated between $70,000 and $90,000.

The Bonhams live auction will take place at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Thursday, March 3, starting at 10 a.m. for motorcycles and automobilia, and 1 p.m. for automobiles.

For more information, visit the Bonhams website.