John Landstrom shot this photo of the 1942 Saroléa Magmotor featured on
History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” for his May/June 2010 Motorcycle Classics
article on the 2010 MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle Auction.
In February 2010, an episode of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” featured a 1942 Saroléa Magmotor. The seller explained the Belgian bike was given to him by his grandfather, who sent it back to the United States in pieces during World War II. The bike is just one of a handful of surviving examples in the U.S., but didn’t run and was missing some hard-to-find parts.
After a short bit of haggling, Pawn Star Corey bought the bike for $4,300 convinced that the bike would net the shop a profit whether or not it was restored. When the restoration estimate came in at a hefty $25,000 – $30,000 due to scarcity of parts, the Pawn Stars decided to enter the bike as-is into the 2010 MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle Auction. Thanks to its rarity and fresh celebrity pedigree, the bike sold for $7,000. Here’s some footage of show stars Rick, Corey and Chumlee at the auction with the Saroléa on the block:
Saroléa’s were well known in early 20th Century Europe as popular and successful racing motorcycles. By World War II, the company’s production had declined and the motorcycles it was building were produced for military use by the Belgian army. This 1942 example was built for just half a year before the Nazis shut down the plant.
As the seller explains on the epsiode, the 1942 Saroléa Magmotor was considered ahead of its time. Features included an adjustable front suspension and adjustable points for riding in different altitudes. Watch the entire episode below, courtesy of Hulu.com: