2019 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctions

A record number of lots sold this past January as Mecum and Bonhams held their annual motorcycle auctions. Longtime enthusiasts and collectors Robert Smith and Somer Hooker share their observations.

| May/June 2019

henderson-model-a
Top priced 4-cylinder was Mecum’s 1912 Henderson model A at $302,000.

A record number of motorcycles flowed through the auction halls in Las Vegas, Nevada, this last January, as Mecum and Bonhams both held their annual sales. But in spite of the greater volume of motorcycles processed, prices were generally firm. Longtime enthusiasts and collectors Robert Smith and Somer Hooker share their observations, with Robert’s report first.

Crockers top Vegas sales

Excluding memorabilia and “road art,” Mecum offered 1,438 lots for sale, selling 1,276, or 89 percent, with a total value of close to $23 million without buyer’s premium. At just under $16,000, average price per lot was generally consistent with Mecum’s performance over the last decade.

1939-crocker-big-tank
 Top seller in Las Vegas at $704,000 was a 1939 Crocker “Big Tank”.



A 1939 Crocker “Big Tank” at Mecum took top price at $704,000 (including premium). Runner-up was another Crocker, this time a “Small Tank” from 1937 at $423,500. Top British bike was an early Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sport from 1925, which fetched $357,500. Of the top 10 selling bikes at Mecum, four were 4-cylinder machines: a 1912 Henderson Model A at $302,500, a 1913 Pierce at $192,500, a 1923 Ace at $176,000 and a 1915 Henderson Model D at $170,500. Top Harley price was $143,000 for a 1928 JDH, and top Indian was a 1905 Camelback at $104,500.

1925-bmw
A 1925 BMW R37 racer from the MC Collection sold for $220,000 at Mecum.

doug
4/18/2019 9:02:00 AM

The Bonhams auction for some sellers was a disaster, I have a friend with classic Triumphs in both auctions. He took 11 bikes total to Vegas and Bonhams fell flat and he withdrew some of his offerings when he saw what was happening. That was surprising as many expected Bonhams to perform better with a more focussed portfolio. I agree Mecums seems too large, I think that has hurt Triumph prices as my bike i am considering selling a Triumph T120C has clocked $18k for other examples trends much lower these days. Top shelf Trumps should be clocking $15k and up, many are averaging $11.5k which is what my friend is averaging for his 68-70 Triumphs, I collect Goldstars as well and used to be the Gold standard and they are weak on pricing




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