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2020 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auctions

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

| May/June 2020

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

A Moto Guzzi Centauro, just $3,000 at Bonhams.

4/2/2020 9:09:06 AM

Spent the entire week there selling two and buying four. The plethora of "mini-bikes" was insane. Halo effect should be mushroom cloud effect. Half a day could have been devoted to 100cc and smaller machines. How much is too much? My only real beef this year was the handling of sold bikes put in the stables and out of sight. With friends Paying for tickets they were denied access to seeing upwards of 300 bikes post sale. That's just not right. If space is a problem (appears so) then cap the qty or use the huge space behiy the food vendors also. Finally a Huge shout out to all the guys and gals who pushed bikes for days and were still helping me and others load up on Monday. Thus event wouldn't happen without them.

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