Sum­mer sale in the States’ gam­ing cap­i­tal sees Bri­tish and Amer­i­can icons un­der the ham­mer

Classic Bike (UK) - - News -

Me­cum Auc­tions’ bold move to launch a sec­ond clas­sic-bikes-only auc­tion in Las Ve­gas this year paid off hand­somely for them. A to­tal of 339 lots sold at the sale (80% of those of­fered) and a to­tal sale of $4.4 mil­lion (around £34,450,000).

Be­hind the bare fig­ures there were some fas­ci­nat­ing ma­chines chang­ing hands. Nat­u­rally, the top end bikes grabbed the lime­light and it was a Vin­cent that pulled in the top bid.

A fully re­stored 1950 Black Shadow at­tracted a win­ning bid of $95,000 (£65,816), while an­other Vin­cent – a 1951 Rapide, mint and fac­tory fin­ished in Chi­nese Red – at­tracted the joint sec­ond­high­est price along with a 1920 Hen­der­son Ace Four, with each bike sell­ing for $85,000 (£58,888).

As well as the Hen­der­son, there were five other Amer­i­can bikes among the top 10 prices achieved – all In­di­ans, fetch­ing from $61,000 (£42,261) for a 1932 Four, to $77,000 (£53,346) for a 1932 Chief.

There was also a huge va­ri­ety of more af­ford­able clas­sics mixed in with the high-value ex­ot­ica. A 1979 Yamaha YZ250F mo­tocross project that sold for $500 (£346) looked a good buy, while an ad­mit­tedly beau­ti­fully-re­stored 1975 Nor­ton Com­mando Road­ster, with elec­tronic ig­ni­tion and charg­ing sys­tems, yielded a good price for the seller, mak­ing $17,000 (£11,778).

Of the three sig­nif­i­cant sin­gle-owner col­lec­tions on of­fer, the Zim­mer­man Brothers’ col­lec­tion was the largest, with 100 bikes on of­fer. All but 16 sold, although a num­ber of celebrity-owned Husq­var­nas were among those that didn’t. Bid­ding on a 1968 250 Com­mando, be­lieved to be the first Husky owned by Steve Mcqueen stalled, while a trio of 1971 400 Mo­tocross mod­els owned by Mcqueen, James Coburn and Charles Bron­son also re­mained un­sold.

Top price for a bike from the 30-strong Ernest ‘Bud’ Cox col­lec­tion was a lovely, re­stored 1959 Tri­umph Bon­neville, which made $26,000 (£18,013) and the top seller of the 10-bike Tim Fabian col­lec­tion proved to be a brace of BSAS – a 1969 BSA Rocket 3 and a 1966 Spit­fire, both of which made $11,000 (£7621).

Go­ing from the re­sults of this first sum­mer sale in Ve­gas, it looks like be­com­ing a fix­ture on the auc­tion cal­en­dar for many years to come.

1950 Vin­cent Black Shadow sold for the high­est price at the auc­tion – £65,816

Im­mac­u­lately re­stored Nor­ton Com­mando Road­ster sold for £11,778

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