The MK2 Chopper offered on June 25 had been consigned by a Derby toy collector after he bought it from a Leicestershire man. The 54-year-old anonymous seller, who had owned one of the classic bikes as a child, said he’d kept it in his bedroom for years.
“It took me seven years to find it. I looked at so many. But when you got there they were never as good as described. I bought it eight years ago, but I really had to persuade the owner to sell it. I’m only parting with it now because I need to thin out my collections.
“You could travel the length and breadth of the country for years and never come across a vintage Raleigh Chopper as good as this one.”
Steve Fulford, toy valuer at Hansons, said: “These days kids crave the latest smartphones but if you grew up in the 1970s there was only one thing any self-respecting youngster wanted – a Raleigh Chopper. The design, influenced by dragsters and ‘chopped’ motorcycles, was so popular Raleigh sold over 1.5m of them. It was the coolest of bicycles and great for doing wheelies.”
The Chopper, manufactured by Nottingham’s Raleigh Bicycle Company, stood out in the 1970s because of its ground-breaking good looks. It was designed in response to the Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycle first manufactured in 1963.
The vendor consigned another Chopper to the sale that, in need of some restoration, made £520 against an estimate of £250-350.