Hailwood bike and more at Bonhams' bumper Spring Stafford Sale this weekend

The Bonhams motorcycle team have had the privilege of offering many exciting machines… but this may be THE most exciting motorcycle we’ve ever discovered and brought in front of a Stafford audience – a 1960 Ducati works racing motorcycle – newly identified as the actual motorcycle campaigned by future Motorcycling World Champion Mike Hailwood.

Article continues below...

Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine.
Click here to subscribe & save.

One of the stars of Bonhams’ bumper Spring Stafford Sale on 22-23 April, the 1960 Ducati 125cc Desmodromic ‘Barcone’ Grand Prix Racing Motorcycle, estimate £95,000-120,000, was one of only four such machines produced for that year’s racing season. The quartet featured the final evolution of chief engineer Fabio Taglioni’s famous desmodronic (positive closure) valve technology introduced in the late 1950s. The resulting higher revs and increased power afforded many victories for Ducati, who still uses the system today.

This machine, the very first Barcone single ‘D1’, was acquired direct from the Ducati factory by Mike’s father, Stan, who was then Ducati’s distributor in the UK. The Barcone, or Barge, was distinguished by a boat-like crankcase with a narrow, finless sump and an integral six-speed gearbox, the cylinder still inclined forward. Hailwood’s Écurie Sportive team installed a taller fuel tank and thickly padded seat, and he immediately won nine 125 races with the bike, with further victories later in the season, including at Oulton Park, becoming winner of that year’s British 125cc Championship.

After Mike had signed with Honda, the Ducati was sold in 1961 and passed through various well-known collectors until acquired in the 1980s by the late Captain Ivan Forshaw, the renowned Lagonda and Aston Martin specialist. Also a motorcycle enthusiast, Captain Forshaw and his son Richard amassed the collection of British speedway motorcycles sold by Bonhams last year.

Article continues below...

The Ducati was bought as a works racing motorcycle, but its full provenance was unknown until it was recently identified as Mike Hailwood’s machine by Ducati authority Ian Falloon. It is offered in ‘as found’ condition.

Ben Walker, Global Head of Bonhams Motorcycles, said: “This extraordinary discovery is fantastic news. The Ducati offers its successful buyer the unrepeatable opportunity to carefully preserve and conserve a significant piece of the legendary Mike Hailwood’s history.”

Article continues below...

The Bonhams sale offers more than 330 motorcycles spanning all eras – and all budgets – from the pre-1915 pioneer and pre-1931 Vintage periods to modern Italian exotica and cutting-edge Japanese machines, representing the A-Z of motorcycling.

The two-day sale, with motorcycles being sold on both days, is this year’s largest UK motorcycle auction, and, has its traditional slot at The International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford, with the schedule as follows: 


Article continues below...

11:00 117 lots of spares and memorabilia including the ‘Ernie Knott Trophy Collection’

14:00 – circa 80 collectors’ motorcycles


10:00 – circa 250+ motorcycles

The full pdf of the catalogue is available to view online here:

The Spring Stafford Sale – The International Classic MotorCycle Show by Bonhams – Issuu

Or the online catalogue, with links to register to bid, can be viewed here:

Bonhams : The Spring Stafford Sale – The International Classic MotorCycle Show

For further details, please contact the Bonhams Motorcycles team  for further information or to register to bid:

[email protected] – +44 (0) 20 8963 2817 or visit bonhams.com/motorcycles.

Subscribe to Classic Bike Guide Magazine Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.