Friday, November 05, 2010

'TOP 20' MOTORCYCLE PRICES AT AUCTION

The Vintagent's 'Top 20' represents the only reliable source tracking the ever-rising prices of la créme de la créme of motorcycling.  This list is continually updated as new machines enter the Pantheon; while several motorcycles have recently sold for over $.5Million (the 'Rollie Free' Vincent, an AJS 'Porcupine', etc), only public auction sales are verifiable...all else is rumor!
Price conversions are based on the exchange rate on the day of sale - the only accurate way to compare fluctuating international exchange rates.  Of course, this can lead to a confusing situation, as with our 'Top 2' machines, which swap places depending on fluctuations in currency exchange rates.  In the end, I went with the currency used on the day of the auction.
The #2 BMW 'Kompressor' was sold by Bonhams auctions the day after their 2013 Las Vegas sale, but is nonetheless a verifiable auction house sale, to which auction fees were added, and is subject to public (and tax!) scrutiny.

TOP 20 MOTORCYCLE PRICES AT AUCTION
(Updated March 21st, 2014)

1. 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer - $551,200 £275,600
July 2008, Monterey, MidAmerica









2. 1939 BMW RS255 'Kompressor' - $480,000 £300,000
January 2013, Las Vegas, Bonhams








3. 1922 Brough Superior SS80 'Old Bill' - £291,200 $469,763
Oct.23, 2012, England, HandH Auctions







4. 1929 Brough Superior SS100 - £286,000 $465,350
Oct.22, 2010, Sparkford, HandH Auctions









5. 1926 Brough Superior SS100 'Alpine Grand Sports' - £280,800 $453,000
Oct 31, 2012, Battersea, RM Auctions







6. 1934 Brough Superior SS100 'Two of Everything' - £242,300 $393,400
April 2012, Stafford, Bonhams







7. 1932 Brough Superior 'BS4' 3-Wheel Austin-engine - £246,400 $377,950
April 2013, Imperial War Museum, HandH







8. 1948 Vincent-HRD 'Black Lightning' - £246,000 $377,260
April 2013, Imperial War Museum, HandH








9. 1938 HRD-Vincent Series A Rapide - £225,500 $366,110
April 2012, Stafford, Bonhams







10.1949 Vincent Black Lightning Supercharged - £221,500 $383,400
October 2008, Stafford, Bonhams







11. 1907 Harley Davidson 'Strap Tank' Single  - $352,000 £186,560
Oct. 21, 2006, Gooding and Co.
 






12. 1939 Vincent-HRD 998cc Series-A Rapide - £198,400 $347,200
September 2008, New Bond St, Bonhams







13. 1929 Brough Superior SS100 'Moby Dick' - £210,000 $330,000
October 2011, Stafford, Bonhams



14. 2013 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide - $327,000
Feb. 2014, Paris, Bonhams







15. 2010 Ducati GP10 CS1 - e251,500 $320,000
May 2012, Monaco, RM Auctions








16. 1927 Zenith-JAP 8/45hp  - £177,500 $312,986
September 2008, New Bond St, Bonhams











17. 2011 Ducati GP11 VR2 e245,700 $312,500
May 2012, Monaco, RM Auctions








18. 1940 Crocker 'Big Tank' twin - $302,000 £192,374
August 2012, Quail Lodge, Bonhams







19. 1937 Crocker 'Small Tank' twin - $302, 000 £192,374
August 2012, Quail Lodge, Bonhams







20. 1915 Iver Johnson twin - $299,600 £193,841
January 2012, Las Vegas, MidAmerica








THE STATISTICS: 
11 of the top sellers are British, 6 are from the USA, 2 are from Italy, and one from Germany. Six of these bikes were racing machines. 18 are large-capacity v-twins. 14 would have been called 'powerful luxury motorcycles' when new. All of them were extremely low-volume production models, or factory racing specials, or were owned by a Pope!

By Decade of Manufacture: 
1900s = 1
1910s = 2
1920s = 3
1930s = 8
1940s = 3
2010s = 3

By Auction House:
Bonhams = 11
H and H = 4
RM Auctions = 3
MidAmerica = 1
Gooding and Co = 1

By Sale Year:
2006 = 1
2008 = 4
2010 = 1
2011 = 2
2012 = 9
2013 = 3
2014 = 1

By Marque:
6 Brough Superiors
4 Crockers
4 Vincent-HRDs
2 Harley Davidson
1 Zenith
1 Cyclone
1 Iver Johnson
1 BMW

ADDENDUM:
Below are a few former 'Top 20's which have been recently bumped down the list.  I add these simply for interest, to note trends in the market.  Tastes change, certain machines climb in value while others decline, or fail to rise as quickly, or simply haven't come up for sale in recent years.  There hasn't been a major Japanese racing multi-cylinder four-stroke at auction in many years...

21. 1934 Brough Superior 996cc SS100 - £166,500 $293.589
April 2008, Stafford, Bonhams










22. 1937 Crocker 'Small Tank' twin - $291,000 £185,367
August 2012, Quail Lodge, Bonhams







23. 1954 AJS Porcupine -  £163,600 $288,475
April 2000, Stafford, Bonhams









24. 1939 Brough Superior SS100 - $280,400 £181,420
January 2011, Las Vegas, MidAmerica







25. 1937 Crocker 'Hemi-Head' - $276,000 £144,350
November 2006, Los Angeles, Bonhams











26. 1929 Scott Flying Squirrel 600cc ex.Steve McQueen/Von Dutch - $276,000 £168,360
June 2009, New York, Antiquorum






27. 1938 Brough Superior 982cc SS100 - £151,100 $264,400
September 2008, New Bond St, Bonhams








28. 1938 Brough Superior SS100 - £157,700 $255,900
April 2010, Stafford, Bonhams











29. 1941 Crocker Big Tank - $243,800
January 2007, Las Vegas, MidAmerica










30. 1938 Brough Superior SS100 - $238,000
January 2011, Las Vegas, MidAmerica







31. 1939 Crocker 'Small Tank' twin - $236,500
Oct. 21, 2006, Gooding and Co.







32. 1939 Crocker V-Twin Big Twin - $233,200
January 2008, Las Vegas, MidAmerica









33. 1954 BMW RS54 - £143,000 $232,000
Oct. 22, 2010, Haynes, HandH







34. 1924 Montgomery-Anzani 8/38hp V-Twin £109,300 $192,702
April 2006, Stafford, Bonhams







35. 1911 Harley Davidson 7D Twin  $187,000
October 21, 2006, Gooding and Co.








11 comments:

brian b said...

What about the BMW RS54 sold at H&H October 22, 2010
It went for 143,000 British pounds
About $230,000

http://www.classic-auctions.co.uk/Auctions/22-10-2010-HaynesInternationalMotorMuseum-1274/1954BMWRS54-32014.aspx

The Vintagent said...

Thanks Brian, I've updated the list!

Her Majesty's Thunder said...

Really cool post Paul. Those dark Broughs are sinisterly sexy. You always have nice big photos too. Keep up the great work!

Stephen Pate said...

How about the Rapide at Bonhams... I think it was before 08... maybe 06... that was $420k+ USD. Came out of Brian Verill's estate.

I know it happened... I have a hard time imagining someone paying that for #2. I just don't get their appeal... it must be as art and never to ride. In *my world* as f'ed up as it is... #3 would have seen what the Cyclone did. It's a bizarre little world out there.

The Vintagent said...

Stephen, I've included all the Bonhams and MidAmerica stuff - it's the other auction houses which are more difficult to access data from. If you know of any Japanese auction results, let me know!

Greg Williams said...

Paul,interesting. Wasn't a Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 about the same price as a Brough-Superior when new?

The Vintagent said...

Greg, the Brough Superior was always the most expensive machine, even among bikes with similar 'spec', such as Coventry-Eagle, Zenith, McEvoy, etc.
But yes, all these were very expensive motorcycles when new - you could buy a decent house in England for the price of a Brough in 1929...so I guess they're currently undervalued!

Brad B. said...

I'd rather see a list of really great bikes you can get for under $1000 than these museum bikes/trailer queens that will sit in some guy's living room.

I/M said...

HI,
Any word on what the Marty Dickerson Vincent ended up selling for? I saw-on here actually-, that it was going to be on the block, but never heard the results.

The Vintagent said...

@Brian B: Inexpensive classic motorcycles can be found in all the classic bike rags - they publish 'cheap and cheerful' lists every year or so.
My interest is in the creme de la creme of Motorcycling, and how our cultural perception of their value changes over time. Few people can afford them, but few can afford Rembrandts; that's just the way it goes...

Anonymous said...

Paul, I count seven Broughs in the top 20 not six, correct?
MSG