This past Saturday May 13 in Carmel CA, 2011 Bonhams was auctioning several interesting bikes and smashed some price records. A machine identical to the 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross that Steve McQueen famously rode shirtless on the cover of Sports Illustrated was sold for $144,500. A 1925 BMW R32, an early and very rare motorcycle from the Bavarian Motor Works that would become the blueprint for all subsequent BMWs, made $139,000, what is believed to be a new world record for the model. The two iconic Harley-Davidson Easy Rider replicas, “Captain America” and “Billy Bike,” owned by the Guggenheim Museum and displayed in their seminal Art of the Motorcycle exhibit went for $52,650 and $24,570 respectively. The proceeds from this sale will support art acquisitions by the museum.
The top selling lots at this year’s sale sold to an international audience with winning bids coming from South America, the United Kingdom and South East Asia. This May auction in Carmel demonstrated once again the strength in high-end collectors motorcycles1. Bonhams’ newest offering is a 1954 AJS E95 ‘Porcupine,’ whose estimate is $750,000. It will be auctioned at the Peeble Beach Car Week in August. More info on last auction at Bonhmans Quail Auction.