Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
If you have spare time this afternoon, it will be worth watching the annual Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies New York sale. (13:00 EST). Over the last decade, movie, sports and music memorabilia has grown into a massive industry as the baby boomer generation (the current holders of the majority of the world's wealth) has recognized that there are greater returns to be had in Tier 1 memorabilia than in many traditional asset classes such as shares and real estate. Several iconic items of movie memorabilia going to auction on Monday will provide a bellwether for the entertainment memorabilia marketplace: two Marilyn Monroe dresses, Dorothy's dress from The Wizard of Oz, the 'Rosebud' sled from Citizen Kane, and Steve McQueen's race suit from Le Mans. Why? Because similar items have been auctioned before.
After being lost for more than 50 years, John Lennon's Gibson J-160E guitar sold for $2.41 million on Saturday November 7, 2015 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, becoming the second most valuable guitar ever sold. It's the guitar Lennon used alongside Paul McCartney in writing and recording She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please, Please, Me and All My Loving. As the most expensive performance-played guitar, it displaces the Fender Stratocaster with which Bob Dylan delivered his famous "electric" performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival which sold for $965,000 in December, 2013. At the same auction, a set of fellow-Beatle Ringo Starr's drums fetched $2.1 million to become the most valuable drum kit ever sold, and between the two lots, many auction records were broken. Rare guitars are fast gaining legitimacy as triple platinum investments.
Kawasaki gave us a potential glimpse of the future of it's supercharged product line-up at the Tokyo Motor Show when President Kenji Tomida showed a sketch of Concept SC 01 (SC stands for “Spirit Charger”), which uses softer lines and more luxurious materials than the hard-edged and spartan styling of the 200 hp Ninja H2 and 300 hp H2R. At the same time, Kawasaki showed a newly-developed version of it's supercharged engine which uses electronically-controlled flaps at the supercharger entrance aimed at increasing efficiency and fuel economy.
Tilting three-wheeled motorcycles look like going mainstream with the showing by Yamaha of a sporting MWT-9 concept at it's press conference at the opening of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show today. The three-cylinder 850 cm3 MWT-9 concept is described as a "cornering master" and the indications are that it is likely to extend the existing three-wheeled 125 cm3 Tricity scooter into an entire family of three-wheelers.
Yamaha surprised at the Tokyo Motor Show today when it showed a motorcycle-riding robot along with images showing the robot riding Yamaha's 1000cc R1M. The motorcycle-riding humanoid is part of an R&D effort aimed at creating advanced rider safety and rider-support systems.
The strength of the English motorcycle collecting world was on display this week in the United Kingdom, when Bonhams' Stafford Autumn Sale weekend realized
GBP£3.6 million, becoming the biggest (highest grossing) motorcycle
sale ever seen in Europe. The most discussion regarding the sale was not
the beautifully restored top-selling motorcycles but three "basketcases" that sold in the top six lots for US$400,039, $365,454 and
$144,113 respectively (a 1934 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50HP Project) –
three of the four most valuable basketcases in history.
Earlier this week a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta (chassis 1995 GT – one just 167 ever built), sold for £7,392,000 (US$11,439,774), becoming just the 26th car in history to sell for beyond seven figures. The 55 year old red V12 Ferrari had been donated by the late Richard Colton, a Ferrari collector, to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK). Read on for full details of this new inductee into the de facto auction car "hall of fame" plus pics and auction links to all 26 cars.
Five separate auctions over the next week will see one of the greatest assortments of elite collectible motorcycles ever assembled go under the auctioneer's hammer, including a 1937 Brough Superior SS100 expected to fetch more than US$300,000 and a rare 1956 BMW Rennsport RS500 Type 256 expected to top US$250,000.
Two auctions at the extremities of the world on consecutive days last weekend highlight the importance of the internet in the modern elite auction process. One in Denmark was a raging success, the other, in New Zealand, was not. One employed full internet streaming and bidding, the other did not.
Several culturally significant cars and motorcycles from the sixties and seventies are going to auction in the near future: Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche 356, Steve’s 1958 Chevrolet Impala from American Graffiti, "Black Beauty" from The Green Hornet, Evel Knievel's Harley-Davidson Stratocycle, the Triumph motorcycle ridden by the Fonz in the TV sitcom Happy Days, and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s Triumph "Sunset Tripper" from The Song Remains The Same.