Auction Of Ultra Rare 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine.

Bonhams is delighted to announce that the 218-year old auction house has been selected to represent the ultra-rare 1954 AJS E95 “Porcupine” (so nicknamed because of the spiked cooling fins on its cylinder head) at its renowned August automotive sale at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA. It was created as a works racer by British manufacturer AJS and is perhaps one of the most legendary motorcycles in history owing to its brief, sunburst racing success and extreme rarity. While statistics show that the Norton is Britain’s most successful post-War Grand Prix racing motorcycle, the country’s first success in the modern era’s World Championships was achieved by another marque with an equally illustrious racing history: AJS. And the machine that carried Les Graham to his, and AJS’, first and only World Championship was, of course, the legendary Porcupine. And unlike the Nortons, the Porcupine is a totally unique design, owing nothing to the production models.

Only 4 AJS Porcupines were produced, with all 1954 models being accounted for (most earlier Porcupines were scrapped by the factory). Until recently, this particular example had been on display for more than two decades, occupying pride of place at the world-famous National Motorcycle Museum in England, its motor having been overhauled by Team Obsolete Equippe. It is estimated to bring upwards of $750,000 at auction. If it makes its estimate, it would be a world record for a motorcycle sold at auction.

“It is arguably the most beautiful, graceful and innovative racing motorcycle ever built, the perfect blend of technology and art. Comparisons are impossible but bikes of a similar caliber – rarity, significance and worth  could include a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer, 1955 Moto Guzzi V8 or a mid-1960s RC Honda Grand Prix. This AJS is an utterly important machine whose appearance at auction cannot be underscored enough. “As far as motorcycles go, the Porcupine is at the very top,” says Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber. “Rate motorcycles are consistently attracting the interest of discerning motor vehicle enthusiasts and collectors, and their rising values confirm this,” says Ben Walker, Bonhams’ International Director of Motorcycles.

11 Responses to “Auction Of Ultra Rare 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine.”

  1. 1 Christopher McMinn May 15th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    does any body have a link on some more pix of this scoots motor ? Spikes have my attention !

  2. 2 Luis May 15th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I didn’t see this one at the quail yesterday. I did see a ton of other cool bikes. Even a Suzuki rotary.

  3. 3 JZ May 15th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This bike is truly astounding. If it even comes close to its estimate, let alone exceed it, it will be a world record for a motorcycle sold at auction. And deservedly so.

    Luis: It is on its way over from England and is for sale in the summer, in August, during Pebble Beach Car Week (where it will probably be under armed guard [kidding]).

  4. 4 john reed May 15th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Its times like this that I wished I could have kept my mouth shut and concentrated on making money’

  5. 5 Barry Brown May 15th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    That’s a lot of hype for a bike that was basically a lemon and got it’s butt kicked , but then again what else would one expect from Bonham’s the “Kings of Hype. “

  6. 6 Dr Robert Harms May 16th, 2011 at 4:33 am

    ” its motor having been overhauled by Team Obsolete”
    Wasn’t there some controversy regarding this work between the mechanic and owner ?

  7. 7 JT May 16th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    How much will a bike like this go for?

  8. 8 Chief Waldo May 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Photos from the Team Obsolete work…

  9. 9 Brady May 17th, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Think Leno will buy it up?


  10. 10 nicker May 18th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for the link Chief W-


    Great motor shots!

    RE: (Barry Brown)
    “…lot of hype for a bike that was basically a lemon…”

    Really? What have you designed lately?
    Look at that clutch basket and then remind yourself that it was designed & built in 1954.


  11. 11 hobog Aug 16th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I’ve been doing some research, and found out that the Rollie Free Vincent Black lightning sold for over $1million+ which is an incredibly neat bike…but still a modified production bike. The Porcupine shares nothing with production bikes…so this motorcycle does fall into the same high dollar category. With it’s history and limited number for four, I think it should fetch a value of $750k. Or at least it’s deserving of that price if others have sold for more.

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Cyril Huze