An important collection of classic American motorcycles will be part of Bonhams’ world-renowned Las Vegas motorcycle auction this January. Complementing the headlining models from Britain and Italy — most notably Vincent, Brough Superior, Ducati and MV Agusta — the New England collection of Indian, Harley-Davidson, Henderson and Excelsior comes from the private collection of noted businessman James Jalbert.
Known for growing a small, family-run airport taxi service into one of the northeast’s leading transportation companies, C&J Bus Lines, Jim Jalbert’s passion for motorcycles started, like many enthusiasts, at childhood. As a collector, he focused on American motorcycles with an emphasis on the Massachusetts-made Indian marque and, at one point, saw his collection grow to more than 30 machines.
The collection, which Bonhams will have the privilege of representing, boasts examples of Indian from the 1920s up to the firm’s closing in the 1950s. Included are models of Chief, Four, Scout, Sport Scout, Prince, Arrow and US Military 741. From street and racing versions to original condition and expertly restored award-winners, the selection is impressive. Additionally, all the proceeds from the 1941 Army model will be donated to the Veterans Count charity, the philanthropic arm of Easterseals Military and Veteran Services.
Two stars of the collection that are not Indians are a 1929 Henderson Four and 1929 Excelsior Super X, both iconic and highly sought after American models from the golden age of motorcycling.
As for Harley-Davidson, represented are models that include a newly restored Servi-Car and Jim’s favorite rider, what he lovingly calls “Elvis” — a 1966 FLH Electra Glide Shovelhead. Also included from the Jalbert Collection is related memorabilia, including an original lighted Indian dealership sign. To learn more about the Jalbert Collection and other incredible motorcycles headed to the Thursday, Jan. 25 auction at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, visit bonhams.com/vegas.