Motorcycle Classics

Bonhams Vegas Auction Features Du Pont Museum Collection

Reader Contribution by Mc Staff

Just part of the Du Pont family’s private collection, to be sold Jan. 12, 2012 at Bonhams’ Las Vegas Auction.

Bonhams is extremely pleased to announce that it has been entrusted to represent what is regarded as one of the most important collections of motorcycles to come to market in years. From the prominent American family du Pont, a name synonymous with a chemical empire, a luxury automobile manufacturer, and America’s first motorcycle company, is a private museum collection three generations in the making.

Offered for the very first time, the collection of nearly 50 vintage motorcycles spanning 70 years of history contains many important and impressive machines, a good number of them Indian. As an investor of the Indian Motocycle (sic) Company since 1923, Eleuthere Paul du Pont took over the ailing company in 1929 and helped usher in one of the most successful eras – financially, competitively, technologically and stylistically – in Indian’s history. As a result of this, the Du Pont family collection contains numerous Indian models – many of which were restored at Indian’s Springfield, Mass. factory – such as Camelback, Singles, Twins, Board Track Racer, Prince, Scout, Chief and Four, not to mention the following noteworthy individuals:

• A completely untouched, original condition circa 1903 Indian Camelback
• 1908 Indian Camelback with an early restoration by the Indian factory
• 1908 Indian Twin restored by the factory and displayed at the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia 
• An extremely rare original paint 1909 Pope Single
• Circa 1915 Indian Twin Board Track Racer acquired in the 1950s
• What is believed to be the last Indian Chief supplied to a dealer

1909 Pope Single will be auctioned at Bonhams’ Las Vegas auction.

Additionally, some notable British motorcycles are included such as a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow with just 3,000-odd miles from new and a believed ex-Francis Beart 1959 Norton Manx, as well as numerous Triumph models. In all, the Du Pont family collection includes the following marques from America, Europe and Japan: BSA, Ducati, Gilera, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Merkel, Ner-A-Car, Norton, Peugeot, Pope, Scott, Simplex, Stephens, Suzuki, Triumph, Vincent and Yamaha.

The Du Pont Museum Collection will be offered at the second annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale on January 12th, inside the famous Auto Collections museum at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino on The Strip. With limited opportunity still available, owners interested in consigning an important motorcycle(s) to this sale may call 415-391-4000 or e-mail Alternatively, for the nearest international representative, please visit Buyers interested in registering to bid, in person or remotely, may visit

  • Published on Nov 23, 2011
© Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved - Ogden Publications, Inc.