It was sold on eBay by Vic World, who runs a business in California that specialises in the early, so-called ‘sand-cast’ versions of the CB750, which are valued much more highly than later models. From an opening bid of $1969, the bike was sold seven days and 102 bids later for the record $148,100 (£88,900).
Other than prototypes of the CB750 of the type that appeared at the bike’s launch at the Tokyo Show in 1968, this is possibly the rarest, which is why it commanded such a high price.
Of the four pre-production machines with engine numbers CB750-2110 to CB750-2113, which differ from later versions in a number of significant details, a candy red one was crushed after being used at Honda’s Wisconsin training school, two were returned to Europe, one of which (candy green) has disappeared, while a gold one, displayed at the Brighton show in 1969, has been dismantled.
The fourth candy-blue/green bike (2113) was found six years ago at a dealer in the eastern US where it had been stored since the 1970s, says Vic World, who from his base near San Francisco has been working on the ‘sand-cast’ models since the 1980s, and has restored about 30 in the last 10 years. He says: “I’m still finding early bikes. I just found a low-digit frame.” The first 7414 from the production line feature gravity-die-cast crankcases with a rougher finish. They also had other differences: the factory was making changes to the design on an almost weekly basis, even with the CB750K0 versions that appeared in Europe in 1970.Enjoy more Classic Motorcycle Mechanics reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.