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Rare Motorcycles Headline Bonhams' Las Vegas Auction

Steve McQueen's 1963 Triumph Bonneville desert sled

Steve McQueen’s Triumph desert sled is one of the many rare motorcycles consigned to Bonhams Las Vegas auction in January. Select entries still invited. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Following the recent news of the extensive British and American motorcycle collections headed to Bonhams’ Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, the leading auction house is pleased to make another important announcement.

Many rare and highly significant motorcycles of international importance have been consigned. The list is long but following are a few of the highlights.

The only red Vincent White Shadow ever built will be offered. The 1951 Vincent Series C “White” Shadow is one of only 15 manufactured and the sole example made in Chinese Red. In current ownership since the early 1980s, this rarity has been professionally restored, verified by the VOC and signifies a true one of one masterpiece.

1951 Vincent White Shadow

This 1951 Vincent Series C “White” Shadow is one of only 15 made. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Representing a trifecta of provenance is the 1963 Triumph Bonneville “Desert Sled” owned by Steve McQueen, modified by Bud Ekins and painted by Von Dutch. Offered from the prominent California collection of Larry Bowman, this is perhaps the most iconic model ridden by the iconic Hollywood actor. The King of Cool owned scores of motorcycles but this machine encapsulates the McQueen legend like no other.

Also from the Larry Bowman Collection is a genuine 1929 Harley-Davidson JDH Racer. Owned early on by Glen Kleckner of Nebraska — a regional racer in the 1920s, and later restored by renowned racer Connie Schlemmer with the engine rebuilt by respected expert Mike Lang, this rare competition model boasts of being a factory race unit. Unique factory features include a front cylinder oiler (as utilized on 8-valve racers) to prevent the front piston from seizing, among other distinct identifiers.

1929 Harley-Davidson JDH

A 1929 Harley-Davidson JDH Racer from the Larry Bowman Collection. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

1922 Ace Four

A 1922 Ace Four with sidecar, also from the Larry Bowman Collection. Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Additional noteworthy machines — among many — include a 1922 Ace Four with Sidecar and a 1910 Royal Pioneer Single, both from the Larry Bowman Collection, a 1926 Indian Daytona Factory Hillclimber, a 1912 Indian Board Track Racer, and a 1926 Henderson Four Deluxe that has been in the same ownership for nearly 40 years.

These and many more motorcycles from America, Great Britain, Europe and Japan will be offered Thursday, Jan. 7, at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. This auction is expected to be yet another record-making sale with bidders participating from around the world. Interested consignors should contact the following Bonhams representatives posthaste:

U.S. and Canada — Nick Smith • • 323-436-5470

U.K. and Europe — Ben Walker • • +44 20 8963 2819