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.
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.
In the last decade, vintage guitars have become a viable investment. Here's our list of the top 60 most valuable guitars ever sold at auction. The list clearly shows that value is more closely related to the significance of the instrument in musical history than the quality of its sound, with guitars formerly played by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, The Edge, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Les Paul and Paul Bigsby dominating the listings.
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.
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.