Very rare motorbike buried under Scarborough garage attracting global attention ahead of auction this weekend

The pre-war 990cc v-twin machine before restoration.
The pre-war 990cc v-twin machine before restoration.

A motorbike that has lain buried under the wreckage of a collapsed Scarborough garage for almost a half a century is attracting international interest ahead of a spectacular classic car and motorcycle auction at Sledmere House this weekend.

The bike was parked up in the garage back in 1967 and then literally disappeared when it crashed through the wooden floor, dropping down into a 6ft deep void underneath.

The pre-war 990cc v-twin machine after it was restored.

The pre-war 990cc v-twin machine after it was restored.

It remained there, hidden by smashed planks, an old fridge and other garage junk - until last year when men were brought in to clear the site and take everything, including the old bike, to the rubbish dump.

Andy Spicer of Driffield-based Spicers Auctioneers, said: “The lads had to bring in a digger to get it out.

“At first all they could see of the bike was its tail light.

“They had been told it was an old AJS but they were amazed to find that they were dealing with a top of the range pre-war 990cc v-twin machine that, despite everything, was not only complete but was in astonishingly good condition!”

Andy Spicer

Andy Spicer

“It is a 1937 model 37/2 which is now a very rare motorcycle.

“Our research indicates that this is one of only 15 surviving examples of the machine that cost 73 guineas, the most expensive AJS of the time.

“Since the recovery it has has been restored to concours condition by a very experienced engineer. He has described it as one of the simplest restorations he has done because the bike was essentially complete.

“He could hardly believe that it emerged from under all that wreckage with just a single minor dent to a mudguard.”

Andy said: “The AJS has aroused enormous interest ahead of the sale.

“We are expecting it to attract bidding not only from all over this country but also from

Continent. The pre-sale estimate is £20,000 to £25,000, so the decision not to cart it

off to the rubbish tip was a good call.”

In total classic cars, motorcycles, parts and automobilia valued at over £600,000 will be going under the hammer on Saturday (July 6 ), making it the most valuable auction of its type ever staged in the region.

The most valuable entry is a 1966 OTS Series 1 E-type Jaguar, one of the rarest and most desirable of all the E-type models.

A 1929 two-seater Rolls Royce Phantom I is expected to make £40,000-£50,000 and the 20 cars on offer also include a 1997 Ferrari 355 Spider (£40,000-£50,000) and a 2002 Ferrari 360 Modena (£50,000-£60,000).

The full catalogue is available on the firm’s website.

The viewing sessions are at Sledmere House near Driffield on Friday (July 5) from 10am

to 4pm and on Saturday morning from 9am until the start of the auction at noon.

The sale is to be live on the Internet.