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Bonham’s Announces The Quail Motocycle Gathering

by Richard Backus


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1959 BMW R69
1959 BMW R69 to be auctioned by Bonham's May 9, 2009 

Following the postponement of the 4th Annual Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance, Bonham’s, which held a successful auction at LOM for three years, has announced The Quail Motorcycle Gathering classic motorcycle auction.

Timed to take place at roughly the same time the Legend show would normally run, the Quail event is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, Calif., a short drive south of the Legend show’s previous digs at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay.

This should go a long way toward filling the void left by the cancellation of this year's LOM, satisfying sellers and buyers alike who have become accustomed to a spring-time West Coast classic motorcycle auction. Although Bonham’s already holds an annual auction at The Quail, The Motorsports Gathering, that event is for classic and collectible automobiles and is timed to coincide with the annual Monterey “Car Week,” a mainstay of the classic car calendar. While The Quail Motorcycle Gathering has no similar event to hook into, the simple fact that collectors had quickly grown accustomed to Bonham's annual auction at the Legend show should give it a boost.

Bonham’s has yet to release a comprehensive inventory for the auction, but we’ll report on interesting bike heading for the block as we learn of them. We do know the auction will include a 1959 BMW R69 featuring a Haske long-distance gas tank and factory tach, a rarity. Bonham’s estimates the bike will cross the block somewhere between $25,000 and $35,000. As the economic downturn continues it will be interesting to see how this auction, and of course the Daytona auction in March, fare. Judging by results from MidAmerica Auction’s annual Las Vegas classic bike auction in January, interest in and sales of classic motorcycles continue to be strong. – Richard Backus