A pristine 1970s Raleigh Chopper bicycle kept in a bedroom “for years” is setting collectors’ pulses racing ahead of auction.
The Mark 2, good examples of which can sell online for more than £2,000, is going under the gavel on Thursday with an initial guide price of £600.
However, interest has been so strong ahead of auction at Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers, pre-sale bids are already well above the initial forecasts.
Its owner, a toy collector from Derby, bought it some years ago from a man in Leicestershire who told how it had been “in his bedroom for years” and “never been ridden”.
The 54-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “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.”
The top-notch bike includes accessories, speedo, lamps and mirrors and is one of two being sold by the same vendor, although the other example is in need of some restoration.
Steve Fulford, Hansons’ toy valuer, said: “These days kids crave the latest smart phones but if you grew up in the 1970s there was only one thing any self-respecting youngster wanted, a Raleigh Chopper.”
Nottingham-based Raleigh sold 1.5 million of the models, with the Mark 2 retailing for £34 in 1973, equivalent to £360 in today’s money.
Mr Fulford said: “The one we are selling, in amazing condition given its age, is extra special because, inevitably, these bikes were so well-loved and well-used many didn’t survive or, if they did, they weren’t in great shape.”
The bicycle is being sold at Hansons’ toy auction on Thursday, with bids taken on www.hansonslive.co.uk