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Lot 458: BSA DBD34 Gold Star

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

On Wednesday 30th June 1937, a specially prepared Empire Star 500 ridden by the great Walter Handley achieved a 100mph lap of the Brooklands circuit on its way to a debut race victory and award of the 'Gold Star' that would give BSA's new super sports model its evocative name. Possibly the most successful production racing motorcycle ever, the post-war Gold Star formed the mainstay of Clubman's racing in the 1950s. In fact, it was the model's domination of the Isle of Man Clubman's TT which led to the event being dropped after Gold Star rider Bernard Codd's 1956 Senior/Junior double victory. While its trials and scrambles derivatives demonstrated the design's versatility by chalking up an equally impressive record in off-road competition, for the majority of enthusiasts the 500cc DBD34 in Clubman's trim is the epitome of the 'Goldie'. The DBD, the ultimate road going 500 Gold Star, appeared in 1956 when the famous RRT2 close-ratio gearbox and 190mm front brake became standard equipment. From then on BSA's perennially popular sporting single changed little until its much-lamented demise in 1963. Today, the Gold Star remains one of the most highly sought after of post-war British motorcycles and is supported by a most enthusiastic owners' club. Supplied new to G Warwick, East Ham, in November 1960 and purchased from Phil Cotton Motorcycles by the current (Swedish) owner in 2003, this ultra-desirable BSA Gold Star has to be one of the very best currently available, as it is offered fresh from a no-expense-spared total restoration undertaken by Robin James Engineering. The rebuild was carried out between 2006 and 2011 at a cost of 55,710 (approximately 70,000), as evidenced by all bills and a 60-page detailed report on the work on file (close inspection recommended). Since completion, the Goldie has covered only a relative handful of test miles and is presented in commensurately excellent condition. During the rebuild a number of detail modifications were made to address some well-known Gold Star weaknesses. These included unleaded-compatible valve seats; pushrod tube O-ring seal; special high-capacity oil pump; improved rocker feed arrangements; a Triumph clutch; an oil tank non-return valve; and Norton Commando compression/rebound fork dampers. In addition, the crankcases were replaced; the engine bored and stroked to 610cc; and an electric starter fitted. Fully restored and extensively re-engineered, this beautiful Gold Star in the model's ultimate, DBD34 incarnation is offered with the aforementioned invoices and copies of the dating letter, old MoT certificates, old UK V5C document and current Swedish registration papers. It should be noted that the engine number has been re-stamped.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number458
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€17000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€19550
Condition rating
Registration numberTHV 167
Chassis numberCB32 10397
Engine numberDBD34GS 5901
Engine capacity (cc)610
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors