Previewing the 2013 Las Vegas Auctions of Classic Motorcycles

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Photo Courtesy Bonhams
BMW RS255 “Kompressor” headlines Bonhams’ 2013 Las Vegas sale.

If last year’s Las Vegas classic motorcycle auctions were any indicator, the old saw “two’s company, three’s a crowd” is as true applied to vintage motorcycle auctions as it is affairs of the heart. 

The 2012 Las Vegas auctions experienced a major shot of adrenaline when powerhouse Auctions America by RM decided Vegas was prime to replicate the annual Scottsdale, Ariz., vintage car auction extravaganza, where a half-dozen-plus auction companies vie for top honors — and dollars — selling off some of the most beautiful and expensive vintage cars on the planet. 

Total 2012 sales between RM, Bonhams and Vegas classic bike auction pioneer MidAmerica Auctions hit $10.7 million, a 48.6 percent increase over 2011 sales. But the event must not have gone in RM’s favor, as this year things go back to “normal,” with RM staying out of the action and only MidAmerica and Bonhams returning. 

MidAmerica Auctions celebrates its 22nd year on the strip January 10-12, 2013, offering 600 vintage motorcycles for sale, including everything from a 1962 Sears Allstate scooter to a 1949 Vincent Rapide. Pride of the sale has to be the ex-Steve McQueen 1940 Indian Four, unrestored and exactly as owned by McQueen upon his death in 1980. 

Bonhams returns January 10 only for its third year in Vegas, offering a smaller but no less impressive selection of bikes including the one and only 1902 Rambler Model B (supposedly still wearing its original paint!) and a quartet of BMW racers, the most important of the lot a replica 1939 RS255 “Kompressor” fitted with a genuine 1939 supercharged engine and authentic 1951 frame. 

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!