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Bonhams 1793 Ltd – Motorcycle dept
101 New Bond Street, London
Tel:  02081280201
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1928 Sunbeam 493cc T.T. Model 90 Racing Motorcycle For Sale by Auction

One owner from 1983 to 2002 Belonging to the National Motorcycle Museum since 2002 Restored by the NMM This T.T. Model 90 comes with an old-style continuation logbook (issued 1949) recording two owners: R Shelton and Peter Woodward, the second of whom acquired the machine in November 1983 and is listed as previous keeper on the accompanying V5C document. Writing in the Marston Sunbeam OC magazine of summer 2017, Peter Woodward says: "The Sunbeam showroom at 194 Broad Street, Birmingham displayed the bike for sale in June 1928; an unknown gentleman used it to race at Pendine Sands during the summer and he returned the bike to the showroom for resale afterwards.

"... the CT close-ratio gearbox, without kick-start or components; the kick-start hole in the gearbox was blanked off with a genuine plug, this was slightly domed and plated in nickel. The Binks three-jet carburettor for performance and the WM2 21" front wheel are how it left the factory ready for racing at Pendine. "The second owner, Mr Bate, was employed as works managers at R T Shelley, the engineering company that bailed out Norton Motorcycles when it became bankrupt. The third owner, Mr Shelton, worked at the Sunbeam Elms factory as a fitter, where they serviced and overhauled customers' bikes. He rode the Model 90 during the war years, and one night he ran into a bomb crater in the dark, which seriously damaged the frame." The Model 90 was then stored in a bedroom for many years until eventually the house was condemned and the Sunbeam offered for sale at a Phillips auction in London, where Peter Woodward bought it. Peter then restored the machine to his usual exemplary standard, fitting a kick-start-equipped BT gearbox for convenience, and in December 2002 sold it to the National Motorcycle Museum. The Sunbeam has since been restored by the National Motorcycle Museum, as commemorated by the attached silver plaque. Accompanying documentation consists of a V5C Registration certificate and the aforementioned continuation logbook.

The Classic Motor Cycle's editor James Robinson wrote a lengthy article for the magazine's January 2018 edition about his experiences riding 'OX 5193' (copy article available). James much enjoyed the Sunbeam: "Thing is, one really doesn't want much more performance, as it's already so quick compared to (almost) anything from its period, plus most motorcycles 30 years newer. Cruising at 55-60mph is absolutely effortless..." A carburettor in need of adjustment/tuning was the only niggle of note.

The machine's present mechanical condition is not known; accordingly, prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to its condition, completeness, correctness, or otherwise prior to bidding.

This motorcycle is to be auctioned at our Live and Online Winter Sale, Hanger 113, Bicester Heritage, OX26 5HA.


Friday 11 December
Spares & Memorabilia (Lot 1 - 112) 9am
The National Motorcycle Museum Reserve Collection (Lots 201 – 252) 11am

Saturday 12 December
Motorcycles (Day 2) (Lots 501 – 708) 10am

In light of the current government guidelines and relaxed measures we are delighted to welcome viewing, strictly by appointment. All the lots will be on view at Bicester Heritage in our traditional Hangar 113. We will ensure social distancing measures are in place, with gloves and sanitiser available for clients wishing to view motorcycle history files.

Please contact Bonhams Motorcycles by clicking 'Message the seller' with your preferred date, time and vehicle registration number to book an appointment.

Wednesday 9 December 9am to 5pm
Thursday 10 December 9am to 5pm
Friday 11 December 9am to 5pm (Lots 501 – 708 only)


Please note that whilst public viewing is available by appointment, the auction itself will be conducted from a remote saleroom, behind closed doors without public access, in accordance with the current government guidelines. All bidding will be conducted via Online, Telephone and Absentee Bidding. Please contact our Bids Department to register using the 'Message the seller' button.


Motorcycle lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 2pm Sunday 13 December 2020. Limited collection is available until 2pm Monday 14 December, by appointment only. If collecting Monday, please access Bicester Heritage via the 'Main Gate', Buckingham Road, OX26 5HA. Please email us using the 'Message the seller' button with your collection or transport instructions as soon as possible following your successful bid. Failure to instruct Bonhams by the given time will result in your vehicle being uplifted to store at your expense, as detailed in the Conditions of Sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection.


Hangar 113
Bicester Heritage
Buckingham Road
OX26 5HA
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