TRADERS at the world’s premier classic motorcycle event in Stafford have enjoyed a bumper weekend, many reporting record sales numbers. 

Regular exhibitors went home happy from the Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show – April 23-24 – with enthusiasts once again pouring through the gates of the county showground to show the strength of the classic bike market.

Midlife Classics’ Tim Slaughter said: “Saturday was our best day at Stafford for years. We always have a weekend target in mind, and we’d achieved that by the end of the first day.”

It was a similar story throughout the halls and outside trade areas as busy stallholders met huge demand for bikes, parts, spares, accessories, riding gear, memorabilia and more.

Hagon Shocks’ Tony Hutchinson said: “We had loads of orders on Saturday, more in that one day than we’ll get in a whole weekend at some other events. The great thing about Stafford is that showgoers are getting their hands dirty restoring and maintaining machines – they’re here to buy, not just to browse.”

The impressive numbers weren’t just confined to trade stands, as Bonhams’ annual Stafford Spring auction saw a world record sale for a British motorcycle – £331,900 for a 1938 Brough Superior BS4.

Part of the much-anticipated ‘Broughs of Bodmin’ collection, the price helped take the collective total for the long-lost machines to £752,625 with the overall auction total reaching £3.5 million.

The enthusiasm demonstrated by visitors and buyers was backed up by the high standard of private entries and club displays as some of the best classic motorcycles in the UK and beyond descended on the venue.

It was a successful weekend for Sean Kelly as his Sunbeam Model 90 claimed the honour of Best in Show, while the DOT Motorcycle Club took the Best Club Stand award.

Head judge Dennis Frost said: “This is the major world show for classic bikes, and the entrants made our jobs hard this year with an incredibly high standard presented across the board.

“An original 1912 FN Single which was used as for dispatch in the First World War caught the eye, as did a stunning 1979 Laverda Jota, but Sean’s Sunbeam was a clear choice for Best in Show this time. It’s not a bike that’s easy to restore, and this one has been done perfectly.”

Interviews with guest star Steve Parrish, firing up sessions in the GP race paddock, trials demonstrations, parade laps of the main ring and a live motorcycle rebuild added to the action-packed line-up.

Attention now turns to Santa Pod Raceway, with the Classic Bike Shows team supporting the new Race, Rock ’n’ Ride event at the venue on May 21-22. Classic bike action returns to Staffordshire in the autumn for the Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show which takes place on October 15-16.