Motorcycles Bring Strong Prices at B&B’s Inaugural Quail Event

CARMEL, CALIFORNIA (May 11, 2009) – Two Steve McQueen bikes and “The King of Cool’s” international driver’s license took top spots Saturday, May 9, 2009 as auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields thrilled motorcycle aficionados and collectors in Carmel, CA. Bonhams offered vintage motorcycles and collectibles in its first-ever motorbikes auction at the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel, held during the inaugural The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, an event showcasing the finest motorcycles from the past, present and future.

Held in the Lodge’s Ballroom, the $941,000 auction featured spirited bidding and international interest – motorbikes were sold to collectors in the southern hemisphere, Midwestern US, Pacific Northwest, New England, UK and Europe. Many lots, comprising prized examples of racing bikes, notable restorations and classic models by Indian, Ducati, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, Kawasaki, Norton and Vincent, among others, sold above estimates. According to Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber, “Bonhams & Butterfields was pleased to partner with Quail Lodge for this first concours and sale. The auction sets several record prices, demonstrating collectors’ desire to own rare and experimental models, and important bikes owned and raced by legends of the cycling world.”

Top lots from Saturday’s auction include:

$111,150 paid for a 1950 Vincent Series C White Shadow, one of only 15 models produced, considered an icon of the golden days of the British motorcycle industry (est. $100/125,000) [lot 157]

$84,240 paid for Steve McQueen’s 1963Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled, built by stunt rider and off-road racing champ Bud Ekins and painted by iconic detailer Von Dutch (est. $50/65,000) [lot 162]

A bidder paid $39,780 for Steve McQueen’s last vintage bike purchase – a 1929 Harley-Davidson 45ci DL (est. $33/38,000) [lot 119A]

An enthusiastic McQueen fan and collector paid $42,700 (more than four times its estimate) for the International Driver’s License issued to Steven McQueen in 1964. The 3.5×5-inch license displays his portrait photo and signature and came to auction from the collection of Neile McQueen Toffel, his first wife. (est. $5/10,000) [lot 39]

$54,990 was paid for a 1911 Indian 61ci Twin, wonderfully restored in 2008 in the traditional Indian Blue and nickel finish (est. $50/60,000 [lot 140]

$50,310 paid for a 1963 Honda 125cc CR93 (est. $35/40,000 [lot 151]

$38,610 paid for the ex-Derek “the Mint” Minter’s championship-winning 1957 Manx Norton 500cc 30M (est. $40/50,000) [lot 146]

$29,835 paid for a 1911 Excelsior 30.5ci Auto Cycle Twin, an fine example of the maker’s final year of production (est. $30/35,000) [lot 154]

Bonhams & Butterfields’ Motorcars Division has had record-setting success offering motorcars, automobilia and collectibles each August at Quail Lodge during the wildly popular The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. In 2008, the Bonhams offering there set three world auction records, featured five motorcars selling for multi-million-dollar bids, and totaled more than $21-million. This May 2009 motorbikes auction was held in conjunction with the Lodge’s first-ever motorcycle gathering.

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