Motorcycle enthusiasts assembled in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, CA on Saturday, 3 May 2008 for Bonhams & Butterfields’ second annual sale of exceptional motorcycles and automobilia, held in conjunction with the Legends of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance. More than $1.9-million was paid for rare and desirable motorbikes, collectibles and artwork from private and corporate collections, including a Steve McQueen “bobber style” Indian Sport Scout and an Evel Knievel Harley, each hammer followed by a hearty round of applause from the standing-room-only crowd.
Bidders on-site for the auction included an international pool of collectors and self-described “petrol heads” from France, England, Australia, Japan and all parts of the US. A contingent of Hollywood celebrities included actors from the big and small screens and their required entourages. Telephone bidders were successful for several lots as competitive bidding pushed prices to record setting levels for several lots.
Having had one owner since new, a 1975 Ducati 750SS ‘Round Case’ drew much attention, bidders closely inspecting it throughout the day-long preview, until the point when Bonhams staff rolled it before the auctioneer’s podium. CEO and auctioneer Malcolm Barber sold the well-maintained, original condition 750 for $117,000, setting a new auction world record.