Lot 349 - 1939 BSA M24 Gold Star
|Chassis Number||KM24 198|
|Engine Number||KM24 198|
|Odometer reading||335 miles|
|Estimate||£18,500 - £22,500|
On 30th June 1937, unbeknown to the company management, the competition department at BSA, managed by Bert Perrigo, entered a modified M23 500cc OHV machine in two races at a BMCRC meeting at Brooklands motor racing circuit. The bike was ridden W.L. (Wal) Handley, who had been persuaded by his friend Perrigo to come out of retirement for this event. Handley had retired after an illustrious career, which included a number of TT & Ulster GP victories and had opened a motor dealership in Birmingham. The bike was built by Len Crisp, and the engine work done by Jack Amott, in the competition workshop at BSA. The engine, with a standard iron cylinder head and barrel, was highly tuned, power output was estimated at 34bhp. Handley started the first 3-lap race with a 9 second handicap, and by the second lap had taken the lead. He went on to win the race, with an average speed of 102.27mph, and averaged 107.57mph on his fastest lap. He was awarded a Brooklands Gold Star for achieving 100mph in the 500cc class. Meanwhile, BSA were developing an all-alloy 500cc single cylinder sports motorcycle, and it seemed only natural, to call it the 'Gold Star'. Production of the new machine started in 1937, and the first production bikes differed in certain minor details from the prototype. The first production M24s , bearing Engine and Frame numbers were prefixed JM24, were built in November 1937, and the first batch of 10 were dispatched in December. Production of 1938 Gold Stars continued until the autumn of 1938, when the factory switched to the new 1939 model. These bikes carried the KM24 engine and frame number prefix. Numerous changes were made for 1939, including a new petrol tank with tank-top instrument panel which housed Lucas ammeter & light switch, and the oil pressure indicator button. Production continued until the outbreak of World War II, when BSA production largely switched to the WD M20 military bikes. The last KM24 bike made, KM24 422, was despatched on 6th September 1939 to the War Office. A total of 298 KM24 bikes were produced and, of these, 120 were despatched overseas.
KM24 198 was found by the vendor in a dilapidated state in the early 1980's supporting a chicken shed. He purchased it at the cost of a pint of beer and then set about a total restoration which was completed and registered in October 1984. Used sparingly to go to classic bike meetings, this M24 was taken off the road in 1991, after which it was taken to various classic motor cycle shows on a trailer, the last being the 2012 BSA Gold Star anniversary held at Brooklands Museum. Believed to have been supplied new by Champions & Sons in Aberdeen, this BSA M24 is supplied with a blue V5 registration document, the old MoT test certificate from 1991, parts lists and workshop manuals. A very rare bike in excellent condition which would grace any motorcycle collection.
Previous lotLot 348 - 1947 Les Graham ‘Cadwell’ Matchless
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