October 22 2014.

Thousands of happy motorcycle enthusiasts left the Staffordshire County Showground in fine spirits after a grand weekend spent at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show – and amongst them was bike-mad, four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull Racing, and soon to be Ferrari, driver made an unannounced stop at the Show to bid on items in the Bonhams Autumn Stafford sale. Said exhibition manager Nick Mowbray; “the classic scene is alive and well with worldwide appeal, and it’s superb to see it come to life once again at another successful Stafford show. Well-known stars such as Sebastian and David Beckham are, among others, raising the profile of classic biking in the mainstream and more and more people are getting involved. It’s a cool thing to be a part of right now and that has to be of great benefit to the industry as a whole.”

The main highlights of event held over the weekend of 18th to 19th of October included special appearances from a number of motorcycle legends. Pierfrancesco Chili, the show’s star guest, was joined by four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty, and the two shared stories from careers that saw them battle each other both on, and off the track. Chili, known as Frankie to his legions of fans, said how much he enjoyed coming to the U; “it was in England that I was first given the name Frankie and I put it on my leathers straight away… I loved it! I’ve always felt a special connection with the British fans and it’s such a fantastic experience to come to this show and meet everyone.”

The traditional Bonhams show auction created plenty of tension with a series of stunning lots, generating a total sale that topped the £1 million mark. A 1914 Flying Merkel 998cc V-Twin winged its way to the sale top spot, achieving £104,540. Bidding on a 1913 BSA 4¼hp owned by the same family since 1958 rose to nearly three times its top estimate, with the hammer finally falling at £20,700. Graham Coxon, lead guitarist with iconic Britpop band Blur, had seven machines for sale in the auction, which generated just short of £25,000 and, as announced by Coxon prior to the sale, the proceeds will be donated to the NSPCC.

Traders, autojumble, live-action, trials demonstrations and fired-up racing machines completed the action-packed and eclectic Stafford line-up.

Pictured: Sebastian Vettel at Stafford (Mortons Archive).