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.
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.
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.
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.