Friday, 10 February 2017
Another rarity from the past...
1979 Honda CB 750 'Phil Read Replica'
In 1977, Phil Read won the Isle of Man TT Formula 1 race (and world championship) on a bike based on the CB 750 F2 which had been introduced in 1976. Looking to capitalise on his success, Honda Britain launched the 'Phil Read Replica'. They contracted bike builder Colin Seeley to convert standard F2s by fitting a fairing, seat unit, lower bars and rearsets, larger aluminium tank, and a silencer modelled on the racebike's exhaust.
These were rather expensive at the time - £1895, £360 more than a standard F2. Colin Seeley was contracted to build 400 Replicas, but a disagreement with Phil Read meant that only 150 were completed. Honda Britain then had the remaining 250 built with different paint, one of Seeley's silencers, and renamed the CB 750 SS.
Of the original 150 Replicas, apparently only 35 are still in existence, plus an unknown number of SSs. Personally, I haven't seen either in at least 30 years, but I have seen two Replicas for sale - one on auction with a £10,000 to 13,000 guide price, and the other priced at £25,000!