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QMY grandfather liked to restore and ride vintage motorbikes in his retirement. A few years ago he left me a Sunbeam British bike.

It is grey and I was told was working. It starts but I'm not able to ride it. It is a very substantial looking machine. Can you share any information and perhaps give me a value? - Toby Portch, Cardiff, South Wales AYOU do have a classic bike there.

It's from the 1950s, so not quite an antique. In fact, the first motorbike was made by the Germans and was the Daimler and Maybach in 1885. The popular British marques to come and go have included Triumph, BSA, Norton, Royal Enfield as well as Sunbeam. A handful survive. Sunbeam were bicyclemakers from Wolverhampton. They introduced their first model in 1912 and became known as the "gentleman's bike". Your model I believe will be the S7 or S8. They have the Harley-like big single seat, wide tyres and chunky mudguards. They now change hands for about pounds 2,500-pounds 3,000. A truly top-end restored model might cost pounds 3,750 today.

QI ACQUIRED a large film studio lamp from a junk shop last May. I was told it was a vintage film lamp used in the movie business.

It has a bulky black stand and is made by a firm called Strand. It has a two-pronged 5,000-watt bulb. Can you offer any thoughts on its value? I paid just pounds 35 for it. - Martin Probert, Lewes, East Sussex ATHESE studio lamps have become a firm favourite among interior designers and trendy loft apartment owners of late. They serve two purposes - as a great talking point and, when correctly set up, good lighting.

Other manufacturers included Mole-Richardson and the French firm Cremor. Some dealers will strip back the original black or gun-metal grey paint to reveal the polished steel underneath. The larger examples, together with the stand, tend to be worth pounds 600 or more at the moment. The value is increased if you have the original "barn-doors" which are the four shutters around the beam.

QI HAVE a Grifter cycle which I bought 26 years ago for my daughter. It was only used once or twice and then put in the loft.

It is in perfect condition and even the wheels still have the little rubber bits you get on new tyres. Could you please give me an idea of its value, and where I would be best to sell it? - Mrs P Banister, Norris Green, Liverpool ATHE Raleigh Grifter was a children's bicycle manufactured and marketed from 1976 and until early 1983. The Grifter featured a three-speed hub gear controlled by a handlebar-mounted twist grip. I think you probably have a later version so it's going to be the Mk2 Grifter made from 1979-1983. It really sounds special in terms of condition and I think it's best suited to eBay or similar. It could make quite a few hundred.


Raleigh Grifter could fetch good money Vintage Sunbeam... a "gentleman's bike"
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 17, 2010
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