(Un) affordable classics

The bank 0% interest scheme has turned quite a few chilly investors into buyers of classic motorcycles and cars. Because how unbelievable it is: outside our circle of friends, it is swarming with people with money splashing all over the skirting boards.

Just score a BMW R75 for a ride along the beach

So I was approached if I knew a military BMW R75 combination for sale. Within two weeks. Regardless of the price. I know there are three. But two of them were not for sale and the third was awaiting restoration. Later I heard that the seeker was looking for such a machine to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation in Normandy. He found and bought one for - according to my information - more than double the current value. The machine was picked up by plane in Denmark and flown to France. Then it turned out that the buyer was working on something to earn even more money and he had no time to come to Normandy. So if there is anyone else who wants to put down the top prize for an R75 tricycle?

At first they were just old

In the meantime, some of us are about the age that we have known many of those priceless classics simply as 'old motorcycles'. For the sake of convenience we forget that 200 guilders for a 750 cc Harley side valve was quite an amount in 1960. In that year, for example, 200 guilders was almost half a gross average monthly salary.

Fortunately, it is still the case that you can buy classics for manageable amounts. Only then these are usually no V-twins from America or Italy and no more Abarths or AC Cobras. And they are also not the copies of the toppers from that time, restored to perfect new condition. The desire to buy such a masterpiece is simply the continuation of our childhood dreams. When I once told a kit salesman that I had a kit of a Triumph T15 Trident searched because I had such a thing myself, the seller was amazed. "People buy the construction sets of motorbikes and cars that they don't have." In that respect, I had more success scoring a kit when I bought a near-perfect Black Bomber some thirty years ago. That Honda cost me 3.000 guilders. The construction set cost 39,50.

Little comfort?

As you have noticed, there are now people who have the money to buy dreams from that time. While others still console themselves with the thought that your dreams stay best when they stay dreams. “Owning the business is the end of the fun…” I admit that's a weakness. Yet.

But there are plenty of opportunities

If we initially continue to see a classic as a passion and not as an investment, then there are still many possibilities to score a very nice classic for the famous 'little'. You just don't have to be a trend follower. For the well-driving Ducati 750 GT that I bought for 2.200 guilders, I would now have had to pay € 16.500 just like that. But for my very neat 1985 Moto Guzzi V65C I paid € 1.500 this year. Another $ 500 was added to get it the way I wanted it. The Guzzi is used almost every day and how many times I've heard "But that's a nice oldie!" I haven't even tracked.

Say: "Between the two and the four ..."

For amounts between € 2.000-4.000 you can now become a very proud and satisfied classic owner if you are looking for it on two wheels. But not all amounts are written with five digits on the automobile flag either. Because let's face it: 24.500 euros for an Ugly Duck, the madness is over. But for a grand or four you have a very neat Dyane. And if there is some work to be done on your new purchase? Then you are lucky. Because then you have until April to get it completely in order.

You just lift a ton for that

It cost two grand

Little Japanese are enchanting

Is for sale for 2500 euros

Costs a fraction of what you pay for a Ferrari GTO
Rare: a Madura 700 with an asking price of 1450 euros



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  1. At school, with a weekly allowance of 5 guilders, I bought my first Jawa in 67 from a brother of a friend of my sister for 85 guilders because I really couldn't buy a 36er Harley for 250 guilders. When I got my driver's license in 68, that Jawa was followed by a BMW R25 from a cousin of my father. Fortunately I was able to borrow money at home when a very nice one came up in 69 and that's how it started. Only half a month's salary of 200 guilders? I would have liked to earn that.

  2. For the sake of convenience, we forget that 200 guilders for a 750 cc Harley side valve was quite an amount in 1960. In that year, for example, 200 guilders was almost half a gross average monthly salary?

    I don't think that's expensive.

    You may wish that you can now purchase a 750 cc Harley for half a month's salary.

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