A collection of more than 30 iconic speedway racing motorcycles spanning more than 90 years is set to leave Haynes Motor Museum next month…
The motorcycles, loaned to the museum in Sparkford in 1997 by the late Richard Forshaw, will be put up for auction at Bonhams later this year. September marks the last time the collection will be together and the final opportunity for visitors to the museum to appreciate these famous pieces of motor racing history.
To celebrate the collection, the museum is holding special talks on Fridays in September given by Haynes Motor Museum collections volunteer David Hellier, a former mechanic himself.
“Being a huge fan of speedway and having worked on motorcycles similar to those in the collection I’ll be sad to see them leave,” said David.
“However, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to talk about these incredible machines, which helped shape speedway sporting history, one final time. I hope whoever gets to own them offers as much love as the museum has given them over the years.”
The late Richard Forshaw was an engineer and avid collector of speedway bikes. He loaned his collection to Haynes Motor Museum to increase public awareness of speedway.
Now, 25 years later, the Forshaw family have decided it is time for the collection to be enjoyed by new owners. The speedway motorcycles, which will be individually auctioned, are to be sold at Bonhams on Sunday October 16. The collection is valued at about £500,000.
Motorcycle Speedway is thought to have originated as a form of dirt track racing in the early 20th century in Australia and the US. The sport reached the UK in the 1920s and in the past has attracted more than 30,000 spectators.
The sport involves motorcycle riders racing around an oval circuit without using brakes or gears. The bikes use a 500cc single cylinder engine fuelled by pure Methanol and can travel up to speeds of 80mph. They are capable accelerating from a standing start to 60mph in about three seconds, which is almost as fast as a Formula One car.