PR – Bonhams & Butterfields Sells Nearly $1-Million in Collectible Motorbikes

Motorbike collectors, enthusiasts and fans of 2-wheelers — many decked out in the prerequisites of the biking world garb: leather jackets and jeans – amassed for the third annual Collectors Motorbike auction by Bonhams & Butterfields Saturday November 11, 2005, onsite atop the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Nearly $1-million was paid for vintage bikes, for ephemera related to the history and love of motorcycling, and for desirable vintage parts.

As Southern California readies for the largest one-day motorcycle fundraising event in the world – Love Ride 22 – bidders from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, and both American coasts participated in the standing-room-only auction – with frenzied bidding for rare examples, and strong prices paid. At the Love Ride pre-auction party on Friday night, Peter Fonda joined the Ride participants, B&B clients and Museum supporters.

The auction opened today with memorabilia and spare parts and a circa 1959 Michelin motorcycle tires advertising poster attracted attention and sold for ten times its pre-sale estimate (bringing $2,070) while a rare Indian Scout dealership display sign sold within estimate for $3,680. Racing posters from the 1950s and ’60s were sold as was property from the Bob Schanz Collection, many of these lots selling above estimate as bidders vied for the important models. Celebrity-owned bikes were sold, as were lots sold to benefit the Love Ride Foundation’s charity.

Top Lots sold today:

$137,000 paid for a 1937 Brough Superior SS-100 ASG 590, a legendary superbike of motorcycling’s “Golden Age.” [est. $90/100,000] private buyer

$120,500 paid for a 1939 Vincent HRD-series A Rapide, an ultra-rare example produced just before production on the model ceased… [est. $60/80,000] private buyer

$52,900 paid for a 1969 Munch 1200 TTS “Mammoth,” formerly in the collection of American hot-rod icon Von Dutch and formerly within the Otis Chandler collection… [est. $40/450,000]

$46,000 paid for a 1933 Matchless 592cc Silver Hawk formerly owned by Steve McQueen… [est. $20/25,000]

A delighted bidder paid $9,775 for a 1999 Suzuki GSX1300 Hyabusa owned by actor Laurence Fishburne while a 1931 Brough Superior Black Alpine VK 3772 sold above estimate for $43,700. Another Brough Superior selling above estimate was a 1934 1150 BGT which brought $40,250.

This sale wraps a successful year for the Bonhams Motoring Division’s motorcycle sales. According to B&B CEO Malcolm Barber, motorbike sales in the US, UK and other sites brought nearly $3-million in 2005, a stellar performance for the specialist department.


Press Contact:
Jannelle Griggsby cell: 310-567-7990;
Levi Morgan PGR;800-596-3146, 415-503-3348


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