Du Pont Family Collection Sells for $1 Million

January 16, 2012
Courtesy of Bonhams
The 1906 Indian Camelback was in the original condition when it sold at the Bonhams auction.
The 1906 Indian Camelback was in the original condition when it sold at the Bonhams auction.

Bonhams, the world’s leading auctioneer of motorcycles, were instructed by the du Pont family to sell their historic motorcycle collection which nearly doubled pre-sale estimates at Bonhams second annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction.

The sale, held inside the Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, included approximately 50 motorcycles and 100 lots of rare Indian spare parts from the du Pont’s personal collection, many of which were collected by L. Paul du Pont, the former Indian Motorcycle Company president who guided the company to success through the Great Depression years.

Bonhams’ salesroom was packed with a global audience of buyers who came to bid on the du Pont Collection as well as the other 70 rare and unique motorcycles consigned that spanned nearly every era of production. An active phone bank, combined with live online bidding, saw spirited bidding from Europe, the southern hemisphere and even India and the Middle East.

Highlights from the historic du Pont Family Collection include:
1906 Indian Camel Back in original condition sold for $72,540
1915 Indian Twin Board Track Racer in unrestored condition went for $67,860
1940 Indian Four in unrestored condition netted $44,460
1953 Vincent Series C Black Shadow with just 3,000 miles from new made $120,500

An international battle was waged for the du Pont’s rare early spare parts collection. 113 lots of parts netted more than $200,000 averaging nearly $2,000 per lot, nearly four times the pre-sale estimates! Highlights from these included:
$35,000 for a 1924 Ace 4-cylinder engine, in unused condition
$32,500 for a 1912 Henderson 4-cylinder engine
$8,750 for the engine of a 1912 Indian Twin
$3,750 for an original muffler for an Indian Twin
$3,250 for the carburetor of an early Indian Hedstrom
$2,250 for a fine circa1895 Columbia “shaft drive” bicycle

“We are very pleased with Bonhams, their personnel, their knowledge, their courtesy and their results” said Everitt du Pont following the auction.

Other highlights included an immaculately restored 1955 Vincent Black Prince consigned to the auction from England by a private collector that realized $122,500, a 1911 Indian 7hp Twin from an American collector that made $84,240, a 1928 Henderson DeLuxe Four which sold for $70,200, and a 1955 Vincent Series B Rapide that fetched $46,800.

“Bonhams unique position as the worldwide auctioneer of collectors’ motorcycles has drawn together rare, fresh-to-market property from private collections offering a spread of motorcycles, ranging from American legends like Harley-Davidson and Indian, to British and continental European machines and Japanese classics,” says Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber. “It was a successful mix.”

For a full list of sales results of the “Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale,” please go to bonhams.com/vegas

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