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1967 Greeves 360 Challenger #1

MAKEGreeves
MODEL360 Challenger
TRANSMISSIONManual
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE1967
COLOURGreen

1967 Greeves 360 Challenger #1

  • Stored for around 40 years
  • Up and running and riding
  • In remarkable all original condition
  • Frame number 151
  • Factory fitted tyres
  • From a private collection
  • One of two 1967 Greeves Challenger motorcycles we have at auction
  • Please scroll down the page to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot

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Description

  • Stored for around 40 years
  • Up and running and riding
  • In remarkable all original condition
  • Frame number 151
  • Factory fitted tyres
  • From a private collection

Greeves motorcycles began as a manufacturer of 3-wheeled cars for the disabled, remember those little blue fibre glass vehicles that were ubiquitous in the 70’s? Bert Greeves adapted a motorcycle for his physically impaired cousin who was fed up with what was commonly available. Bearing in mind the number of former servicemen disabled in WW2,  they spotted a commercial opportunity and approached the UK government for support, leading to the creation of Invacar Limited which did surprisingly well.

However, Greeves was a motorcycle enthusiast at heart. He felt there was a market for British built, decent, lightweight motorcycles. He introduced his first two units to the motorcycling public in 1954. They were both dirt bikes, one a trials machine, the other a scrambler. These early units were powered by Villiers 200cc two strokes engines. From the start, these motorcycles were easily identified by unique Greeves features; including the British Racing Green colours. and the cast aluminium down beam. The Greeves legend was born.

In the Greeves Factory’s first foray into racing, Bert partnered up with the highly regarded moto cross rider, Brian Stonebridge.

Stonebridge enjoyed considerable success in Britain and in 1958, the pair popped across the Channel to race in the new to the European FIM 250cc motocross class.

Bert was horrified to discover that the British were “regarded as rather a second-rate race in sporting spheres”. He wasn’t having any of that. He doubled up the racing efforts. Stonebridge managed two second place finishes in the championship standings. In a tragic twist, Stonebridge career was cut short when he was killed car accident in 1959.

The Factory hired Dave Bickers as their new Works rider. Bickers won the European championship in both 1960 and 1961 on a Greeves Factor bike.

Greeves motorcycles started to show up in USA, in Western states desert races. The American manufacturers, with the their massive desert sleds looked down their noses at the plucky British on their cute little Greeves. That was until the brilliantly built Greeves bikes started to smash the large bore desert sleds of the day. For a ten year stretch, from 1959 to 1969, Greeves motorcycles became the ones to beat.

As more and more horsepower was coaxed out of the square barrel design, it became clear to Greeves that a new engine was needed to remain competitive. That new design made it’s debut in the 1964 250cc Greeves Challenger. The motor featured the Greeves head and barrel, a lower end built by the Alpha Company and an Albion gearbox. By 1967, a 360cc version was available. These were highly successful motorcycles, enjoying popularity in both desert racing and motocross events.

Taking nothing away from the other marvellous Greeves models, the Greeves Challenger 360 is universally accepted as the Greeves to have.

Imagine our delight when we were asked to bring to market, not one, but two Greeves Challenger. We couldn’t be happier!

We’re simple folks here at Evoke Classics, so we don’t get confused, we’re calling them Greeves 1 and Greeves 2 – each has their own description.

A little bit of context about our vendor, Stan, first. He is a very enthusiastic enthusiast. But not an ‘amateur’. Stan has small eclectic collection of motorcycles, in addition to supporting his son’s motorcycle racing team. He tells us he has had six or seven Greeves Motorcycles so he does know a thing about his subject; classic motorcycles. We do think context matters.

This Greeves Challenger (#1)

Stan spoke about the chap who owned this. It had been stored and tucked away form “around the 1980’s” but no-one is quite sure. Which is understandable; the 80’s are new 60’s aren’t they!

Our vendor has it about two years and came by via a Brough Superior Dealer / Sports car/ Classic car dealer in Kent.  They had failed to get it running, but to be honest Stan didn’t really want to them either for fear “of them buggering up such a one-off original bike or breaking something”.

The deal was done and the was bike shipped back from Kent.

Stan tells us, with a chuckle, it didn’t take long for him to get it running, once he’d checked it all over first. It fired up and ran, and he took it for a very, very short spin.

Once he knew it was all good, it was time to check it over properly. Out came the engine and gearbox. Through Stan’s long standing connections, the gearbox went off to Geoff Nunn. Geoff was an ex-Greeves factory mechanic. Now in later years he is renowned as a specialist gearbox rebuilder.

While that was being done, the engine side cases came off and the engine was checked. Given the build quality of the Greeves, there were no surprises, everything was in good order. The gearbox was returned and together they went back in.

When we asked what else had been done, we were told, “Nowt. Nothing was done. The bike is so original, we didn’t want to do anything to reduce that”.

The originality is unique and almost unapparelled. The original factory wheels and hubs are fitted. But here it gets interesting. The Factory Works bikes had the integrated hubs painted black. For the uninitiated, it would a devil of job, to paint these black afterwards. To be clear. Our vendor is not purporting this to be a Works Bike, but it some further digging might well reveal that it is. That is up to the new owner.

The handlebars and even the handlebar grips are factory original. The exhaust is original. You can see what condition those chrome header pipes are in. The seat, which is usually the first thing to get replaced is original. The chain and sprocket set are in good order.

Our vendor does know of the original owner. He was Roger Kyffin who owned Sapphire Motorcycles in Stockport. Sapphire hand built British motorcycles in the sixties. So for him to own this Greeves is some compliment.

Our view

Estimates of how many classic Greeves Challenger 360’s were made, vary. But it is broadly accepted the number is less than 100, some say as low as 80. Either way, they are rare and wonderful machines.

Even the ones that very rarely come to market. Our vendor wouldn’t describe himself as an ‘expert’ he is far too self-deprecating for that. However, listening to him having a wonderful hour or so chat about these two and other bikes he has, it is clear he comes from a deep well of knowledge. He is very straight as well. Originally, there were three, yes, three of these. However, as he was checking one over, he found a fault with it, and he wasn’t prepared to let it go with the fault on. That is being dealt with and will come again later. That gives you an insight into this bike and the vendor.

An all original running Greeves 360 Challenger that has been in storage for 40 years? Don’t hang about.

Vehicle Location: Nantwich CW5– it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

Guide Prices?

We’re different. But you know that. And we’re always honest. In a sector where no two classics are same, how does anyone put a ‘guide’.

Well, everyone knows the broad value of classic, let’s all be honest. So we don’t need to tell you what you already know, do we.

The ‘market’ decides and the old cliché that ‘it’s worth what someone wants to pay’ is no less true. So why kid everyone!

But, because we are different, if it really does matter to you, that’s fine, we want you to be happy. Just drop us a line at auction@evoke-classics.com and one of us will be delighted to ring you back and discuss, it’s what we do.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
c********e £2,850.00 2022-05-26 14:50:43
Start auction £2,850.00 16/05/2022 9:00 AM

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