If you find yourself awash in cash this December, and you feel like buying a new-to-you motorcycle, there’s another option besides the usual dealership purchase: you can hie thee to Las Vegas, and pick up something at the Bonhams motorcycle auction.
Bonhams has just added two private collections to its January sale, with rare race bikes and other vintage machines. Perhaps the most interesting racer is the 1941 Indian Big Base Scout factory racer, with 45 ci engine. It’s expected to bring in as much as $90,000 US. There’s also a 1948 Indian factory racer in the same price range.
That’s a lot of dough, and if you’re not feeling quite that spendy, you can instead opt for the 1913 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne board track racing motorcycle, with 1000 cc OHV V-twin engine—possibly the only example of this NUT in existence (there’s also a NUT from 1925, if you miss out on the 1913 machine). Bonhams is also auctioning off a rare Matchless, a G45 racer from 1955 that is thought to have been run by ex-South African Champion ‘Beppe’ Castellani. There’s also early Harley-Davidson and Excelsior board trackers for sale.
Other interesting motorcycles at this year’s auction include a running, original condition, unrestored 1918 Harley-Davidson Twin Model J, a 1938 AJS Model 2, a 1948 Vincent Rapide and a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow C. The highest sale is expected to be a 1940 Crocker Big Tank V-twin, with an extremely detailed and interesting history. It’s expected to bring in about $500,000 US, far outstripping any of the other bikes (next closest is that Black Shadow C, expected to bring in about $100,000).
This year’s auction is at a new location, at Caesar’s Entertainment Studios behind Bally’s, just off The Strip. The auction runs Thursday, January 23. For a complete listing of motorcycles, visit the Bonhams website.