Eddie Rickenbacker’s Collectiom Of 30 Motorcycles Heads For Auction

The motorcycles hanging from the ceiling as adornments in the famous San Francisco bar and grill Eddie Rickenbacker’s will be auctioned by motorcycles auctioneer Bonhams, this August at Quail Lodge. Named after the Great World War flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient Eddie Rickenbacker, the watering hole and eatery was established by the eccentric and colorful Norman Hobday, a.k.a. Henry Africa, himself either an army veteran, former merchant marine, or escaped Legionnaire, depending upon which version is believed.

Hobday was renowned for his creation of the fern bar concept and invention of the Lemon Drop Martini. He wasn’t a motorcycle aficionado but after acquiring an old Indian during a search for antiques and then displaying in it his bar, he realized it brought lots of attention and subsequently acquired others. Soon Eddie Rickenbacker’s became known more for its décor – comprised of old motorcycles, toy trains and antique lamps – than its fare. Over the years Hobday’s collection grew to 30 vintage machines of various years, makes and models, each displayed either in the venue’s windows or dangled from its ceiling.

With the passing of Hobday last year, the collection of motorcycles from his San Francisco landmark has been entrusted to Bonhams, who will represent it at auction during the Pebble Beach Automotive Week this coming August. Most of the motorcycles are American marques – Cleveland, Excelsior, Harley-Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Reading, however there are many British and European makes as well – Ariel, Monark, Moto Guzzi, Motosacoche, New Imperial, Nimbus, Peugeot and Triumph, among others.

The famous Eddie Rickenbacker’s Collection of motorcycles joins the extraordinary group of American motorcycles from a private European collection that includes the much anticipated and talked about three Crocker road models.  This impressive assembly of nearly 60 two-wheeled machines will be offered Thursday, August 16th at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California – the first day of the two-day automotive auction hosted by Bonhams.

With Thursday being dedicated to motorcycles, Friday (August 17th) will be dedicated to motorcars, such as the astounding 1997 McLaren F1 GTR racer that has the car world abuzz. Entries for motorcycles are now closed but Bonhams is still accepting entries of unique and important cars for consideration. Interested sellers may contact Mark Osborne in San Francisco at mark.osborne@bonhams.com or Rupert Banner in New York at rupert.banner@bonhams.com.

To register to bid, order a catalog, and to learn more about these motorcycles and/or motorcars, visit Bonhams Quail.

7 Responses to “Eddie Rickenbacker’s Collectiom Of 30 Motorcycles Heads For Auction”

  1. 1 RICK smith Jun 10th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I’ll take 2 and a Lemon Drop Martini on the side

  2. 2 highrpm Jun 10th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    don’t want to sucking one down at eddie’s in a tremor.

  3. 3 Sollis Jun 10th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    cool place i been there many times

  4. 4 Rodent Jun 10th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Rickenbackers Closed last Wednesday and Bonhams sent the press release yesterday.

  5. 5 courtney Jun 11th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I swear one of these days my home decor will consist of approximately 60 antique bikes hanging from the ceiling, perhaps a bike or two hanging on the bathroom walls as well, not to mention a few special ones that I’m able to ride occasionally when the urge arises.

    But first, I’m going to need a much larger home with copious ceiling space, not to mention a s***load more money….

  6. 6 N ola Jun 11th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Loved this place. Very sorry to see it go. No trip to SF was complete without a drink at Eddie’s. I always loved talking with Henry & hanging out with Mr. Higgins.

  7. 7 rodent Jun 11th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Mr Higgins was the huge yellow cat but who was Henry, the owner name was Norm, he was the guy with the oxygen tank, chain smoking or sleeping in the window in a big easy chair.

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Cyril Huze