1967 Greeves 360 Challenger #2

MODEL360 Challenger

1967 Greeves 360 Challenger #2

  • Stored for around 40 years
  • Up and running and riding
  • In remarkable all original condition
  • Factory fitted tyres
  • From a private collection
  • Two 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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  • Stored for around 40 years
  • Up and running and riding
  • In remarkable all original condition
  • Factory fitted tyres
  • From a private collection
  • Two of two 1967 Greeves Challenger motorcycles we have at auction

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 (#2)

This is the second Greeves Challenger 360 owned by Stan, our knowledgeable vendor and collector. It is very interesting indeed. We have some information, which of course we’ll share. The info represents a massive opportunity for any new owner; to do a bit of digging; in doing so have some fun; and possibly add significant value to this Greeves.

This Greeves Challenger came from the States. It came via a well-known importer, Huggys Speed Shop at Mallory Park in Leicester.

Our vendor was told in good faith, “It is a USA import raced by a professional rider”. Our vendor, Stan did push and probe and seek more information, it didn’t come. He’s sure the information is good, just perplexed they weren’t more forthcoming. Maybe it is information they should not have revealed?

Our vendor is happy to chat further with anyone and help in anyway he can, in fact he has offered a few ideas how that information could be explored further. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout if you’d like us to help further.

This bike has another interesting piece of a puzzle attached to it . The importer suggested this bike was “probably imported by Nick Nicholson” in California. Nick is long since deceased, but the Nicholson name lives on and still trades today in the States, via Nick’s daughter.

Nicholson was big on the amateur race scene. Is it possible, this bike was used by the pro racer referred to? Who knows.

Finally, one last piece of the jigsaw. This Greeves has a couple of modifications, such as the period top cover on the rear shocks that was common on the racing desert sleds. Another coincidence? Again, who knows. But what a story to track, eh.

This classic Greeves came into Stan’s orbit just over a year ago. It was brought back from Mallory Park and the first thing to do was get it running.

A compression check was done, that was all good. Sparks were checked, all healthy. That left one thing; fuel. A clean fuel supply was fed in and hey presto, the Greeves cracked in to life.

A little run around confirmed everything was okay and that is pretty much how it has remained. Running his sons racing Maico bikes has absorbed pretty much all of Stan’s spare time.

The Challenger does run on the original fibre glass tank, but it’s not ideal. That will need attention.

When we asked our vendor to describe how it goes, he said, “I’ve not gone far. It drives okay, no problems, but it does feel quick from some reason, much quicker than others I’ve had”

The carburettor has been swapped at some time. In place of the original Amal, is what looks like a Mukuni. Apparently it was a period modification for the racing desert bikes from California.

Other than that, what you see is how it is. A fully complete 1967 Greeves Challenger 360, with a very interesting background…

Our view

As we’ve said before, these rare classics seldom come to market. We are delighted to have two from a very well-informed, experienced enthusiast.

The added bonus is those nuggets of information about the provenance on the Greeves. It might take a while, but it wouldn’t take that much hard work to nail it one way or the other. And can you imagine if that info was uncovered? How sought after would this Greeves be then?

Bike 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 bike? 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.

Tedious but it’s vital you read this, please.

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