High-capacity car and motorcycle collections are nothing new, especially in the celebrity world. But sometimes, celebrities have to trim their garages down. So, they either sell their wheels off or put them up for grabs at an auction. The latter instance is particularly intriguing if the owner in question happens to be a known car enthusiast. Say, for example, The Grand Tour co-host Richard Hammond.
“With a very heavy heart,” Richard Hammond is letting some of his classic cars and motorcycles go to fund his new business
No, the situation just described isn’t hypothetical. Richard Hammond really is auctioning off a selection of his classic cars and bikes, Hagerty says. And, ironically, it’s because of a classic car restoration company.
Earlier this year, Richard Hammond announced that he’d be hosting a new show on Discovery+. This show will feature him and a father-son team starting a classic car and motorcycle restoration business near Hammond’s Herefordshire, UK home. While the show is currently titled ‘Richard Hammond’s Workshop,’ the business is called The Smallest Cog. And the latter needs some start-up money.
So, to help fund The Smallest Cog, Richard Hammond is putting some of his classic cars and bikes up for auction. It wasn’t an easy decision for him to make, CarThrottle notes, as the vehicles in question “’have a great deal of personal sentimental value.’” But the sale will let the company give “life back to countless other classic vehicles,” he says.
Which of Richard Hammond’s classic cars and bikes will be up for auction?
Not all of the vehicles Richard Hammond is auctioning off are classics. One of them, for instance, is a 1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350, and another is a 2019 Norton Dominator 961 Street Limited Edition.
However, the Esprit Sport 350 is #5 of 48 examples and features a 350-bhp 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged flat-plane V8. And thanks to magnesium wheels, a carbon-fiber wing, and new body panels, it’s 187 pounds lighter than the ‘regular’ Esprit V8 GT. Meanwhile, the Norton Dominator is #50 of 50 examples, with Ohlins suspension, a handmade fuel tank, and upright handlebars. Richard Hammond bought it for his 50th birthday.
The classic cars and bikes coming up for sale, though, are intriguing in their own rights. The 1959 Bentley S2, for example, comes from the first year of the GM-sourced 6.2-liter V8. There’s also a 1969 Porsche 911T, a car Jay Leno owns and enjoys, too. And while it’s a UK-registered car, it was originally sold in California, so it has left-hand drive.
On the motorcycle side, Hammond’s 1976 Kawasaki Z900, aka Z1 900, is also hitting the auction block. So is his 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1, which comes complete with a period fairing, clip-on bars, and rear-set foot controls. The auction also includes two pre-WWII motorcycles, a 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 and a 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1. Silverstone Auctions describes the latter as “the road-going equivalent of the successful KTT racers” that competed at the Isle of Man.
When can you start bidding?
Speaking of Silverstone Auctions, the auction house is handling the sale of Richard Hammond’s wheels. All eight cars and motorcycles are offered with no reserve, with the auction kicking off at 2 pm local time on August 1st, 2021. Hammond will be there in-person to introduce the lots, CarThrottle says. However, interested parties can register to bid online.
As for the Discovery+ show, there’s still no official launch date available. And the current name is a working title, too. Hopefully, though, this auction will give The Smallest Cog a solid running start.
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