Hammer falls at Earl Harrington’s auction, lucky man wins prestige PS tie, Preston Petty is back
Former bike dealer’s yard mobbed as US restorers ramp up the bids for projects
The rush to hoover up more than 2000 classic and PS era bikes, plus myriad new and used spares at the Earl Harrington auction, (as previewed in the last issue) saw hundreds of excited buyers descend on Earl’s Florida property. They bought up all but two lots of scrap. The auctioneers, J. Wood & Company, were still totalling up the numbers as we went to press, but our man on the inside, PS reader Ian Campbell, was there bidding on a Cb400/four that tickled his fancy, and witnessed the frenetic action first-hand.
“It was very busy at the auction with some serious buyers in attendance,” Ian told us. “Prices were way higher than I could justify. I had my heart set on a 400/Four that I could never afford in 1977 but it went for $1250 plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium and seven per cent tax on top of that.
“Several guys there were bidding on anything – heaps of complete junk were going for hundreds of dollars – particularly British stuff. My German pal was convinced he’d walk away with a nice Z1 and was prepared to go to $10,500 – the bidding started at $10K and it sold for $12.5K plus taxes!
Unsurprisingly the Triumph Hurricane made strong dough; $23,500. “I spoke to Jerry the auctioneer at the end of the second day – he was pretty exhausted – and he said it’d gone well. I think Earl will be a happy man; they must have made hundreds of thousands.”
Ian spoke to Earl at the auction. He complimented our man on his RC51 (SP-1), and said that when all the auction stuff is done and he’s settled up he’s planning on getting an RC51 himself. So expect that to be up for sale in 20 years-time, along with several thousand more…
“Several guys there were bidding on anything – heaps of complete junk were going for hundreds of dollars – particularly British stuff”
Everything (that’s 2000 bikes), bar two heaps of junk, went under the auctioneer’s hammer