Records Fall at 2014 Bonhams’ Vegas Auction

January 14, 2014
Courtesy of Bonhams
1940 Harley-Davidson EL
This 1940 Harley-Davidson EL from the Pierce Family Museum Collection sparked a bidding war at Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, eventually selling for $159,000.
1973 Ducati Super Sport Green Frame
A 1973 Ducati 750 Super Sport ‘Green Frame’ sold for $137,00 at the auction, which tallied a claimed total of $3.3 million.

Bonhams hosted its annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at Bally’s Hotel & Casino to great success January 9th, confirming the strength of the international market and reaffirming Bonhams’ position as the world’s leading auctioneers of collectors’ motorcycles.

From the famed Silverman Museum Racing Collection, a legendary 1978 Ducati NCR in untouched condition sold for $175,500 after spirited bidding for what is believed to be a new auction record for the Bologna model.

To the delight of all in attendance, an historically important 1940 Harley-Davidson EL from the Pierce Family Museum Collection was the subject of an intense bidding war from clients in the room, online and on the phones, and made a new world auction record when, to the applause of the audience, it realized an astounding $159,000.

Another motorcycle from the Silverman Collection, a stunning and highly desirable 1973 Ducati 750 Super Sport “Green Frame” achieved $137,000, also making a new record, while a rare and race-ready 1954 BMW Rennsport RS54 sold for $126,000 to a private US collector.

The highly publicized 1923 Indian Big Chief with Princess Sidecar formerly owned by Steve McQueen and restored for him by famed artist Von Dutch, was the subject of passionate bidding and ultimately won by an American collector for $126,000, setting a new auction record for the model. The same collector also purchased the other iconic Steve McQueen 1935 Indian Chief for $80,500.

“We are very pleased to have been able to offer a superb and diverse selection of the highest quality motorcycles from around the world,” said Nick Smith, Bonhams US Head of Motorcycles. “The results confirm our team’s capabilities and the strength of the collectors’ motorcycle market, and we’re looking forward to a great 2014.” Added Ben Walker, Bonhams International Head of Motorcycles, “Once again the season opening and highly anticipated sale in Las Vegas proved to be the place to sell investment-worthy motorcycles.”

Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Group CEO and auctioneer at the sale, commented, “As the international auction house of repute holding sales of collectors’ motorcycles seven months of the year, we know the market intimately and we’re very pleased to be at the forefront of this very exciting industry.”

The next Bonhams auction to feature motorcycles will be in Paris at the beautiful Grand Palais on February 6th and will feature His Holiness, Pope Francis’ 2013 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide that will be sold for charity. Then, in April, is the world-famous Stafford Motorcycle Sale in England featuring a barn-find 1939 Brough Superior SS100 that has been in single-family ownership since 1961.