Lot 327 - 1979 Honda CB750 Phil Read Replica
|Odometer reading||23,000 miles|
|Estimate||£11,500 - £14,000|
The Honda CB750 is widely acknowledged to be the first modern superbike with its 'across the frame' four cylinder SOHC engine and disc front brake. It was launched in 1969 and although the engine configuration and layout had been used in racing engines prior to World War II, Honda popularized it with the CB750, and it subsequently became the template for the other big Japanese manufacturers and the dominant sports motorcycle engine layout.
In 1976, Honda replaced the CB750F model with the F2. The engine was largely unchanged at 736 cc and 61 x 63mm bore and stroke. Larger valves were fitted in the cylinder head and a 'peakier' camshaft helped lift the power output to 70bhp at 9,500rpm. 28mm Keihin carburettors with accelerator pumps also helped it reach a claimed top speed of 122 mph.
At the 1977 Isle of Man TT, Phil Read raced an 820cc version of the F2 to victory in the Formula 1 TT race on his way to winning the World Championship that year. In the spring of 1978, Honda made the decision to mark Read's victory by producing a limited edition of the F2, badged as Phil Read Replicas. Colin Seeley, a renowned frame maker, was commissioned to convert 400 standard F2's into Phil Read Replicas, requiring the fitting of a double headlight full fairing with Cibie headlights, five gallon alloy petrol tank, rear sets, a new seat unit and 'works' style exhaust. The Honda's paintwork was in the same red, white and blue livery as that of the Honda Britain Racing Team. The Phil Read Replica was the first fully faired road going motorcycle sold by a Japanese manufacturer.
The Phil Read Replicas were advertised at £1,895 inclusive of VAT, which was £360 more than the standard F2. They went on sale in the UK in May 1978, shortly before the Isle of Man TT one which Read was unable to add to his tally of TT wins. Approximately 150 Phil Read Replicas were sold before a disagreement between Read and Honda UK stopped the production of the model. Colin Seeley continued the special edition run, using the same modifications, but added his own exhaust system and a colour choice of red and white or blue and white. These are generally referred to as Honda Britains, but Honda sold them as the CB750SS.
This immaculate and genuine Phil Read Replica is one of only 35 to survive out of the 150 made. It is in original condition save for the indicators and replica stainless steel exhaust. The Honda was in a static collection until 2011 when acquired by the vendor and comes with a V5 and MoT certificates dating back to 1989. Very much a collector's item, this rare Honda will surely be an appreciating asset.
Previous lotLot 326 - 1939 Velocette MOV (250cc)
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