In the 1960s I was the general secretary of the Honda Owners’ Club (GB). In 1969, four club members, including me, were invited to assist at the Brighton motorcycle show where the Honda CB750/4 was to debut.
On the stand was a turquoise specimen mounted on a revolving pole, with telephone handsets around the circular plinth on which the pole was fixed.
A second machine in gold was on the show stand in front of the counter. It was this machine that eventually went on to be owned by Lord Denbigh, then another owner, ending up with an old friend of mine, the late Dave Ayesthorpe. It was this machine that sold at auction for £161,000.
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I remember the machine well because I had to seal the fuel tank cap with tape to appease a fire officer on duty at the show.
I also remember discovering that this machine had side panels made out of thick glass fibre, not plastic. It was a late version of the CB750 prior to the mass production beginning.
On the afternoon when the Honda staff were celebrating Honda sales manager Eric Sulley’s birthday in the hospitality suite, the price of the CB750 was announced, to be received with gasps of astonishment.
Read more in the June 2019 issue of CBG – on sale now!