AJS E95 Porcupine: ultra-rare bike expected to fetch $750,000

Bonhams’ August sale in Carmel, California, has been selected to sell one of the rarest and most sought-after motorcycles in the world. Only four examples of the 1954 AJS E95, nicknamed ‘Porcupine, were built by British manufacturer AJS and Bonhams anticipates a record bid of more than $750,000.

“As far as motorcycles go, the Porcupine is at the very top,” says Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber. “It is arguably the most beautiful, graceful and innovative racing motorcycle ever built, the perfect blend of technology and art. Comparisons are impossible but bikes of a similar calibre – rarity, significance and worth – could include a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer, 1955 Moto Guzzi V8 or a mid-1960s RC Honda Grand Prix. This AJS is an utterly important machine whose appearance at auction cannot be underscored enough.” The Porcupine, so-named because of the spiked cooling fins on its cylinder head, was built by AJS as a Works racer. This particular example, which has had its engine overhauled by Team Obsolete Equippe, has been on display in the National Motorcycle Museum for more than two decades.

The ‘Bonhams Sale of Exceptional Motorcars, Motorcycles & Related Automobilia’ takes place at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, on Thursday and Friday, August 18-19 2011, with a select group of motorcycles to be sold on the Thursday. See www.bonhams.com.

Text: Charis Whitcombe

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