Cars & Auto

Six-Figure Vintage & Antique Motorcycles Sales Kick Off Strong Start for 2022

There are classic car collectors, and there are also those who collect classic motorcycles. Mecum is known for high-end car sales and the collecting fan-fare extended to rare vintage and antique motorcycles at the January 25-29th Las Vegas Motorcycle. We’ve updated the realized auction prices of the motorcycles we first featured on January 18.

While Mecum did not respond directly with any information about records that were broken, the sales generally spoke for themselves and represent a strong pulse with many six-figure sales at the start of 2022. Fortunately, Mecum did issue a press release issued during editing.

Mecum’s 31st Annual Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Auction reached $22 million in sales. For some reference and color on the “record” that is up by 21% over last year’s Las Vegas motorcycle auction. There were 1,310 total motorcycles being offered in Las Vegas and 1,221 motorcycles were sold. Mecum referred to this as “an outstanding sell-through rate” of more than 93%.

When including the strong record-breaking car results so far in 2022, this was Mecum’s highest-grossing month in its 35-year history.

Collectors Dashboard evaluates high-end collectibles as an alternative asset class. This means collectibles are attracting the same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds. Many collectibles now cost thousands of dollars (or much more). Collectors with a passion to own a collectible for years frequently have to compete directly against investors whose only desire is to make a profit in the future.

Just keep in mind that investing in stocks and bonds has no guaranteed profits at all — and cars and motorcycles need gas, maintenance, storage, registration and insurance each year. That all adds up to a tougher criteria of “investment” versus pure enjoyment.

The Las Vegas Mecum auction featured 1,750 rare and unique motorcycles. The high selling bike was a $236,000.00 1938 Brough Superior SS100 and had been owned by the same individual since 2003. Since 1992 January has been understood to be Mecum’s big motorcycle auction. All of the top 10 sellers at the Las Vegas auction again reached those impressive six-figure sale prices. Private collections were also very well received at the auction. Mecum noted this about individual and family collections:

  • The headlining Harley-Davidson Heritage Collection achieved more than $4.1 million in sales.
  • The Bob & Dolva Mitchell Collection sold in its entirety, and its 14 motorcycles brought an aggregate $1.3 million.
  • A 5-bike offering from Dr. J. Craig Venter sold in its entirety for a total of $821,700.
  • The Brown Family Collection achieved $911,350 overall.
  • The Robert Richardson Collection saw 12 of its cycles hammer sold for a total of $444,400.

Here are the realized auction prices for the bikes we profiled:

  • Lot F169: 1912 Indian Big Base Board Track Racer sold for $57,200.00. (Image below by Mecum Auctions)

  • Lot F212: 1968 Triumph T100R Daytona sold for $14,300.00.
  • Lot T1: 1910 Harley-Davidson Belt Drive Single with No Reserve sold for $66,000.00.
  • Lot T37: 1934 Harley-Davidson VLD Big Twin with No Reserve sold for $44,000.00.
  • Lot S112: 1938 Brough Superior SS100 sold for $236,500.00.
  • Lot S263: 1962 Triumph TR6SS Desert Sled sold for $16,500.00.
  • Lot T21: 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA with No Reserve sold for $52,800.00.
  • Lot F150: 1967 Harley-Davidson Softail Prototype sold for $22,000.00.
  • Lot F153: 1939 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $159,500.00.
  • Lot S213: 1938 Harley-Davidson 45 CI OHV Experimental sold for $80,000.00.

Here are the top 10 bike sales for the auction provided by Mecum:

  • 1. Lot S112 1938 Brough Superior SS100 sold for $236,500.00.
  • 2. Lot F195.1 1951 Vincent Series C Black Shadow sold for $231,000.00.
  • 3. Lot S58 1917 Henderson Model G Four Cylinder sold for $203,500.00.
  • 4. Lot F192 1936 Harley-Davidson El Knucklehead sold for $203,500.00.
  • 5. Lot T12 1919 Harley-Davidson J Twin sold for $165,000.00.
  • 6. Lot F135 1939 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $159,500.00.
  • 7. Lot S150 1941 Harley-Davidson TA Knucklehead sold for $154,000.00.
  • 8. Lot S151 1932 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000.00.
  • 9. Lot S152 1940 Indian Four Cylinder sold for $154,000.00.
  • 10. Lot F195 1931 Henderson Four Cylinder sold for $154,000.00.

The auction site did not provide estimates for the featured and main attraction motorcycles but did include past sales from the 2021 event. Here are the top 10 motorcycle sales from the 2021 Las Vegas event (unless location otherwise noted) for high-end motorcycles from mecum:

  • 1. 1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank sold for $297,000.00.
  • 2. 1943 Harley-Davidson E Model sold for $220,000.00.
  • 3. 1946 Harley-Davidson FL sold for $220,000.00.
  • 4. 1947 Harley-Davidson FL sold for $192,000.00.
  • 5. 1953 Vincent Black Shadow sold for $165,000.00.
  • 6. 1936 Harley-Davidson EL sold for $159,500.00.
  • 7. 1938 Harley-Davidson EL sold for $154,000.00.
  • 8. 1953 Vincent Black Shadow – Location: Monterey. [Two-Time Quail Concours Winner]
  • 9. 1903 Indian sold for $143,000.00.
  • 10. 1944 Harley-Davidson FL sold for $143,000.00.

Mecum’s full press release will have some additional details.

It should be understood that all the bikes listed are in a museum quality presentation state just like the cars that Mecum is known for at auctions. With normalcy in the car collecting market projected with the Kissimmee Florida Car Show by Mecum this January 2022 the motorcycles can been seen as an equally exciting moment to look forward to, and most importantly… spend money on.

Some of the bikes that hit records were not flips from last year. The number of six-figure sales and Mecum’s own descriptions of the record-breaking results should only highlight that vintage and antique motorcycles are enjoying a very strong start to 2022.