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 ...
A piece of Cold War memorabilia is going on sale in Hong Kong as Bonhams auctions a rare spy camera disguised as a packet of Lucky Strike cigarettes. The high precision 16 mm stills camera was made by the Mast Development Corp in 1949 or 1950 for the US Signal Corps and is believed to be one of only two in existence.
One of only ten surviving Kenbak-1 personal computers from 1971 has sold at auction for €34,000 (US$36,500). Judged the "first commercially available personal computer" in 1987 by a panel at the Boston Computer Museum that included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, it's a fascinating piece of history that sheds a light on the chaotic early days of the desktop computer.
A Space Age collectible that not only represents a first in space, but also a first in computer history is on the auction block in Dallas, Texas. As part of its Space Exploration Signature Auction, Heritage Auctions is taking bids for a vintage random access, non-destructive readout 4,096 bit memory plane that flew on Gemini 3. This ferric memory unit was an integral part of the Gemini Spacecraft Computer, which was the first computer installed in a manned space capsule.
A unique relic of the Space Age went on the auction block at RR Auction this week with the Bulova wristwatch worn on the Moon in 1971 by Colonel David Scott as Commander of Apollo 15 sold for US$1,625,000. The Bulova Wrist Chronograph was carried on the mission's third surface EVA as a backup timepiece to the NASA-issue Omega watch worn on US manned missions. The personal property of Scott, it is the only watch to return from the Moon to remain in private hands.
One of only 50 or so Apple I computers still in existence is up for grabs at an auction running over the next eight days. Online auctioneer Christie's has started the bidding at £240,000 (US$370,000) for the Apple 1 personal computer, which even comes accompanied by a original manual.
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.
An auction of scientific, technological, and musical instruments, soon to be held at 1onhams Auction House in the UK, will headline with a 1941 M4 Enigma machine used by the German military during World War II to send encrypted messages. Unlike the 3-rotor machines whose cipher codes were famously broken by those working at Britain’s Bletchley Park during the war, the 4-rotor model heading to auction is among the rarest of the rare, and is sure to command a high price. Besides cipher machines, however, the sale also offers a range of unusual and sought after examples of scientific instruments and musical automata that should also attract a great deal of interest. We take a look at a few prime examples.
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.