Bonhams to Auction Off BMW Kompressor and More at Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

Reader Contribution by Press Release
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Rare pre-war Kompressor leads quartet of racers

15 October 2012 – San Francisco – A very unique and uncommon collection of four BMW racing motorcycles will be offered at Bonhams’ anticipated Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale next January.

Headlining the team of machines is a very rare and much admired BMW Kompressor, or supercharged, 1939 RS 255, the model that legendary racer John Surtees said “Rightly deserves a place as being one of the all-time greats of motorcycle Grand Prix racing.” 

The BMW Kompressor RS 255 (“RS” stands for rennsport, or race sport) is a genuine, documented supercharged 1939 engine (no. 16152) mounted in an authentic 1951 frame (no. 2), not at all uncommon with most factory racing machines. Surtees, who owns the very same year model BMW upon which Georg Meier won the Isle of Man TT (now on permanent display at the BMW Museum), commented that “The power characteristics are very deceptive … this is a real racing machine.” 

Accompanying this exceptional motorcycle are three other Bavarian competition machines: a 1954 BMW RS 254, a 1954 BMW RS 254 with Sidecar, and a 1956 BMW RS 256. 

“Competition BMWs, particularly those from before and just after WWII, are increasingly gaining interest from discerning collectors,” said Nick Smith, Bonhams US Head of Motorcycling. “They were highly advanced, extremely well-made, and successful, and this combination of attributes makes them tremendously desirable.”  

No stranger to prominent and record-making sales, including BMWs, Bonhams sold a very rare, factory prepared 1939 BMW RS R51 for $130,200 at the 2010 Las Vegas motorcycle auction. Likewise, this quartet of German racers is expected to attract significant interest, particularly the Kompressor. 

The third annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale will take place Thursday, January 10th 2013 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strip. More information will be posted in the coming weeks at  

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