2020 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctions

Brough Superiors dominated this year’s Mecum and Bonhams classic motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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by Robert Smith
Motorcycles from the Buzz Kanter collection at Bonhams, including the 1941 Indian 45ci Big Base Scout (right).

In recent years, American motorcycle auction goers have seen a speed-record Vincent Black Lightning and a Crocker “Big Tank” both edge toward the million-dollar mark. There were no such stratospheric prices achieved at the annual Mecum and Bonhams motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas, Jan. 21-26, 2020.

But after six years in which American iron mostly topped the big money charts, Broughs are back. A super-rare 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 with a JAP “90 bore” engine gained the top price of $308,000 at Mecum, including buyer’s premium, while the number two spot went to a 1930 SS100 at $239,250.

Meanwhile at Bonhams, the top price seller wasn’t a complete motorcycle at all, but a Brough project, which, when re-assembled, would be a 1929 680 with a JAP overhead-valve engine — essentially a scaled-down SS100. The project sold for $126,500.

Most of the top values, though, were achieved at Mecums, with a 1940 Harley-Davidson EL bringing $220,000, the same amount gained by the late Indian Larry’s Grease Monkey custom. A 4-cylinder Militaire, which, despite its French-sounding name was one of around 200 made in Buffalo, New York, achieved $214,500. Four green-frame Ducati 750SS’s were offered at Mecum, with one selling for $198,000 (and another passed on at $195,000), while a Vincent “C” Black Shadow fetched $143,000.

Minibikes at Mecum

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