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.
Three motorcycle auctions (London, Paris and Gainesville, Florida) in the next few weeks offer unprecedented opportunities to obtain some rare European motorcycles. Bonhams' Paris sale on 4 February will be followed by Coys' London Motorcycle Show sale on 13 February, and Jerry Wood's Florida auction on 8 March. The lots include a fabled Moto-Guzzi V8 plus many important Italian racing motorcycles, including a 1951 Moto Guzzi 500 Bicilindrica GP, a 1956 Mondial 250 GP Bicilindrica prototype and a 1961 Ducati 250 Trialbero prototype. Unprecedented in the motorcycle industry is the launch and auction of the first bike from French custom manufacturer Praëm (top right), which is expected to sell for between US$100,000 and $160,000. At 165 hp and 180 kg, it should be a goer too.
The next fortnight sees one of the most concentrated periods of auction activity outside Monterey Car Week. The action is spread across two main locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Paris, France, where the Retromobile Exhibition is held in the city which pioneered auto racing 120 years ago.
Vincent motorcycles dominated January's Las Vegas Motorcycle auctions this year, with six of the top seven most expensive bikes of the two auctions, and a new world record for any Vincent motorcycle of US$434,000 going to a Chinese Red Vincent White Shadow 1000cc V-twin. While the marquee bikes expected to sell for the highest amounts were almost all passed in without meeting reserve, numerous world records were broken for mid-range collectibles.
January's Las Vegas motorcycle auctions are the epicenter of the world's collectible motorcycle marketplace. The world's two dominant motorcycle auction houses hold back-to-back auctions in the first few days of January (Bonhams on January 7 and Mecum Mid-America on January 8-9, 2016) that this year will see 850 of the world's most desirable motorcycles up for sale over three days. The Las Vegas motorcycle auctions are a significant global event, as they strongly influence the market for the remainder of the year. Here's the story leading into the auctions ...
Barnfinds continued to step from urban legend into reality earlier this year, when eight Brough Superior Motorcycles were discovered in a Cornish village. Stored in barns, the motorcycles were discovered whole, in parts, and some were partially submerged under five decades of dust. The "Broughs of Bodmin Moor" will be offered at Bonhams Sale of Important Collectors' Motorcycles at Stafford on 24 April 2016.
Several storied automobiles crossed the auction block at RM-Sotheby's New York "Driven by Disruption" sale on December 10, the last big sale of the year before the Scottsdale round of auctions in January begin 2016. The star of the show was Fangio's 1956 Ferrari 290 MM which fetched US$28 million and became the third most expensive car ever sold. Janis Joplin's psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356C SC Cabriolet was expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000, but fetched $1.7 million to set a record for the Porsche 356. Finally, Roy Rogers' 1963 Pontiac Bonneville Nudiemobile fetched $308,000, which is a record for a Bonneville, but still less than his saddle ($386,500) or his Martin guitar ($554,500).
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.