One of the stars of Retromobile at Port de Versailles in Paris this week was a collection of 10 near perfect AJS racing motorcycles (variously from 1949 to 1962) on the Movendi stand.
Movendi is a prestige car dealership, and alongside a Bugatti EB110, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F50 was this gorgeous set of period racing motorcycles, and a discrete price tag of €750,000 for the lot.
The collection was created by Bernard Guérin, a post-ww2 racer who competed at a national level (1954 French 350cc champion) during the period 1947-1962, along the way keeping his racing bikes and restoring them to brand new while parts were still readily available.
Guérin has apparently done likewise with other racing bikes from the period, including Velocette and Norton racers, and this is just a small part of a much bigger collection.
What is remarkably captured by the collection is the evolution of the bike from an initial uncompetitive 32 hp in the beginning of the development, through a variety of redesigns, weight saving, head changes, engine placements, engine design and gearbox changes to more than 40 hp and many major race wins during its reign.
In 1957, Swedish rider Bill Nilsson used an AJS 7R engine in a motocross frame to win the inaugural FIM 500cc Motocross World Championship.
The collection had not sold at time of writing.