Lot 306 - 1965 Cheney-BSA B44
|Engine Number||B44B 175|
|Estimate||£2,500 - £3,500|
|Result||Sold - £3,024|
Eric Cheney was acknowledged as one of the top motocross riders of the 1950s, along with his travelling companion , Les Archer, who went on to become European Motocross Champion in 1956.
In 1961, Cheney's riding career came to an end when he contracted a serious blood infection and after a period of acute illness, he was never able to recover his former speed. He decided to retire and concentrated on bike preparation, achieving success by installing BSA's heavy and dated Gold Star motor into a lightweight frame of his own design for Jerry Scott to ride.
Although Cheney had no formal training as a motorcycle engineer, he became known as one of the finest frame makers of his generation, working entirely from intuition.
Cheney had a love-hate relationship with BSA- the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer at that time and often received covert help from the factory. In turn, the BSA competition shop gained valuable tuning and development information from him; but Cheney would never work officially for BSA. The relationship might have been much closer, but Cheney cared nothing for the status or security which a big factory environment could have provided
This early Cheney-BSA, frame number 27, has been in single family ownership from new - the vendor's father purchasing the bike from Cheney in 1965. It features a nickel plated, oil containing frame and BSA's new for 1964 unit construction Victor engine, which in this instance, has been bored out to 475cc from the standard 441cc. According to the vendor, this was done by Cheney himself when the bike was first built.
Last raced in 1985, the Cheney-BSA will require a thorough overhaul before being used again in anger, but nonetheless represents an exciting opportunity to purchase a genuine motocross bike of the highest pedigree which will be competitive in pre 1965 motocross events.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.