1980s Raleigh Chopper found in Birmingham garden shed could fetch hundreds at auction

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The rusty 1980s chopper - like the bikes in Stranger Things on Netflix - was bought for £10 and left in a garden shed in Balsall Heath

A rusty 1980s Raleigh Chopper which was bought for £10 decades ago could now fetch hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed.

The battered Stranger Things-style bicycle had been gathering dust and cobwebs for the last 40 years in the back garden of Abdul Sidike, 46, in Birmingham.

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The company director had ridden around with pals on the classic bike during the 1980s - much like Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin in the hit Netflix sci-fi horror.

The dad-of-two admits at the time he was left embarrassed by the bike that his dad bought secondhand - but said he soon grew to love the iconic bicycle.

And after seeing that a similar model, which was destined for a skip, had made nearly £700 at auction recently he decided to get his valued.

 A 1980s Raleigh Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham A 1980s Raleigh Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham
A 1980s Raleigh Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham | Hansons / SWNS

It is now expected to fetch up to £400 when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers, in Bishton, Staffordshire, on June 28

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Abdul, from Balsall Heath, a director of an IT company, said the bike had originally been an underwhelming gift to replace a stolen BMX.

Why has Abdul decided to sell his 1980s Chopper?

Explaining his decision to sell, Abdul said: “A childhood friend sent me a WhatsApp message, ‘Dude, you still got your Chopper?’

"He proceeded to tell me about a Hull Daily Mail story describing how a rusty Raleigh Chopper had sold for around £700.

“Back in the early 1980s, when the BMX Bandits film was released, I started pestering my father for a BMX bike.

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"Eventually he agreed and bought a Hawk BMX from Woolworths for £60 - money he’d painstakingly saved to satisfy my whim.

"Just imagine the value of £60 back then when a pint of milk cost 10p, a loaf of bread 30p and bus fare into the city 20p.

“Sadly, I outgrew the bike quickly and bought a bigger BMX. But I didn’t have that bike for a month.

Abdul Sidike with his childhood Raleigh Chopper left in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, BirminghamAbdul Sidike with his childhood Raleigh Chopper left in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, Birmingham
Abdul Sidike with his childhood Raleigh Chopper left in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, Birmingham | Hansons / SWNS

"It was stolen from outside a corner shop. My cycling days seemed over. There was no way I could get another bike.

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“A few weeks later my father told me to collect a bike for £10 he’d bought from a second-hand shop nearby.

"I couldn’t wait thinking, ‘wow, my dad bought me a bike’. I skipped all the way to the shop with a big grin on my face, fantasising about this brilliant bike.

“My face fell when I saw the bright red Raleigh Chopper waiting for me. I’d seen these around in all sorts of colours but they’d never made much of an impression on me.

"After all, I was a BMX bandit. I couldn’t do a stunt if my life depended on it. Looking at the Chopper, I thought ‘What can I do on that?’

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“Nonetheless, this was now mine. The shopkeeper kindly pumped up the tyres and I rode it home, feeling uncomfortable all the way and thinking, ‘nah!’

“My friends made no comment on my bike. They were pleased I had one again and we rode as we always did around the area and in the park.

"In a short time, I grew to love the bike and its character. It became a significant part of my childhood, a physical manifestation of my father’s love for me.

A 1980s Raleigh Chopper –bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in BirminghamA 1980s Raleigh Chopper –bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham
A 1980s Raleigh Chopper –bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham | Hansons / SWNS

“I rode that Raleigh Chopper until I bought my first mountain bike. My siblings went on to ride the Chopper until, one day, it was forgotten and left in the darkness of the shed.

"It was moved from one place to another over the years.

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"Each time it saw the light of day I promised I would get it repaired and restored to its former glory, and share memories of my youth with my two children.

“As with most promises it got broken time and time again - until my friend sent me the link to that story about a rusty Raleigh Chopper sold by Hansons.

"I saw it as a sign. It’s time this bike was loved by another.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, with the Chopper found in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, BirminghamCharles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, with the Chopper found in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, Birmingham
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, with the Chopper found in a garden shed in Balsall Heath, Birmingham | Hansons / SWNS

What has the auctioneers said about the sale of the 1980s Chopper?

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “These rusty relics from people’s childhoods in the 1970s and 80s open up a rich seam of nostalgia.

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"Design classics like this are ripe for restoration. We very much hope we can find a perfect new home for Abdul’s bike.”

In April 2022, Hansons sold a Raleigh Chopper destined for the skip for a total of £692 with buyer’s premium.

In 2020 a mint condition 1970s MK2 Chopper reached £1,250 at Hansons from a £400-£600 estimate. It had never been ridden and had been stored in a bedroom.

Charles added: “Such is the power of childhood nostalgia a vintage Chopper is worth more than its original retail price.

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"In 1973 a Mk2 Raleigh Chopper cost around £34 – equivalent to £361 in today’s money.”

A rusty andA Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in BirminghamA rusty andA Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham
A rusty andA Chopper – bought for a tenner decades ago - could make hundreds of pounds at auction after being rescued from a garden shed in Birmingham | Hansons / SWNS

Where was the Chopper made?

The Chopper, manufactured by Nottingham’s Raleigh Bicycle Company, was hugely popular due to its ground-breaking good looks and wheelie capabilities.

It was designed in response to the American-made Schwinn Sting-Ray chopper-style, wheelie bicycle which launched in 1962.

The US bikes have recently seen a resurgence in popularity due to being featured in Stranger Things, now in its fourth season on Netflix.

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