In 1890, Messrs Hotchkiss, Mayo and Meek began selling “Royal Eagle” bicycles at their Hill Cross, UK factory.

As motor bicycles evolved, the Coventry Eagle motorcycle was born, becoming a rival for the formidable Brough Superior.

An ultra-rare British made motorbike, one of only a handful known to survive

The most famous Coventry Eagle motorbikes were the Flying-8s, which took their name from the engine’s RAC rating of 8 horsepower.

Sadly, the onset of the Depression forced the company to abandon production of its more expensive models, and the last overhead-valve Flying-Eight left the factory in 1930.

At Bonhams‘ stunning Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, California on August 18–19, this example one of only a handful of OHV Flying-8s known to survive, is expected to fetch up to $300,000.

Sure, you could spend the money on 20 new Ducatis, but what fun would that be….?

[via JamesList]