Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LAS VEGAS 2012: MIDAMERICA

MidAmerica's Ron Christensen checks out an original paint 1917 Excelsior twin, being pushed onto the podium...
Send Cliff Vaughs a royalty check for this mini-'Captain America'...

Interesting and very rare Winchester

Brought over from Germany to sell in America, but headed to Sweden!  The amazing 1935 Böhmerland Langtourer...
Chantland checks Chantland...this custom Triumph uses a 1960s Chantland 750cc alloy cylinder barrel, made by Sid's father!

Quite an eyeful; classic 70s chopper, but built ca.1981

The engine of a '48 Triumph 3T Deluxe, a very rare pre-unit, iron-head 350cc

An oddball, non-factory supercharged BMW R51 racer.  No provenance, no history, no build date, but interesting nonetheless

The blower and Amal carb of the R51; BMW did supercharge a few pushrod engines, ie the WR750, but not this late.  They would have supercharged the R51RS production racer anyhow, and used an Amal-Fischer TT racing carb, not an ordinary Amal Type 276.  Several privateers in postwar Germany added blowers to their BMWs for German national championship races (they were barred from international competition for a few years after WW2), usually 750cc R75 ex-military engines. 
Beautiful BSA triple; prices for Tridents and Rocket 3s seem more robust than the twins...


Crowds seemed slightly smaller than previous years, but not by much, and overall sale rates were excellent at MidAmerica.  A feared drop in sales due to the simultaneous Auctions America event proved groundless; the overall results at MidAmerica were better than last year.

Sadly, for display only!  A fantastic Cyclone ohc roadster...

...which advertised the Steve McQueen bikes coming up for sale. 

Sweet DB34 BSA Gold Star with a 'Penny Farthing' bicycle

Groovy little Honda 110cc café racer...

Highest sale price of the whole Las Vegas weekend was this 1915 Iver Johnson, supposedly never started and in excellent condition; $278,000


...although a very close inspection revealed a replacement chainguard; a different color, a different texture, intentionally scuffed up and with poorly matched pinstriping.  The kind of detail which should be noted in an auction catalog, to dispel suspicions...

Iver Johnson, like FN and BSA, were initially known for making guns.

Always, always at a big auction you find something completely bizarre, a testament to one man's dream, or obsession...this motorcycle was built around a Lincoln V12 'Zephyr' engine.

John Stanley with his Velocette MSS; happy it sold, but 'not for enough!'  The refrain of the weekend...

Hot pink Matchless G12...perhaps a non-stock color?

Plenty of variety lined up for the auction block; 90s Suzuki, 60s Lambretta, 70s Bultaco

6 comments:

occhiolungo said...

hiya Paul. That Excelsior is neat! but it is a 1917, not '15. Not a big deal, but the '15s are typically valued higher.

And isn't that Winchester cool?! A friend from the Alturas rally restored it over the last year. I think it is one of a kind.

Husband said...

Thanks for the pictures. There were some AMAZING deals to be had. It is especially interesting to me the recent swell of interest in vintage motocross. I have mainly vintage dirt machines myself, but they are fetching huge prices all of a sudden. God help us if GQ does a spread featuring mid 90s cruising machines!

Anonymous said...

The HOT Pink Matchless, know of one in So Fla this guy bought for his wife to ride.
Chris D.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting all that up. Much appreciated.
- Paul E.

Anonymous said...

Great photos of great bikes. Thanks for posting.
LVMS

Titus McMonahan said...

Great stuff, photos and commentary. Thanks for sharing.