It was later in the year than usual, but another Mecum auction in Las Vegas has come and gone. The auction cleared $17.5 million through 1,214 listings, 1,151 (95%) of which sold. Here’s 12 of my favorites!
Before we get into my favorite bikes, I’ve got to give an honorable mention to John B., who clearly wins the “Best Dressed” award! I love the stories and the motorcycles I’ve been able to review, but my favorite part of running Bike-urious has been meeting people like John. He’s bought some cool stuff through the site (such as this Honda CB72 that was raced by Pops Yoshimura) and I’m going to be riding with him and some other motorcycling buddies in Cuba this November!
Another honorable mention goes to the legendary Paul d’Orleans. It had been much longer than usual since I’ve been able to see Paul thanks to COVID, and it was great to catch up. Normally he’s providing color commentary for Mecum’s TV coverage on Saturday, but Mecum decided to go TV-free this year.
On to the bikes! If you want to talk dollars, the Top 10 results consisted of 8 Harleys, 1 Indian, and 1 Vincent:
1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank (Lot F191) at $297,000
1943 Harley-Davidson E Model (Lot S111) at $220,000
1946 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S114) at $220,000
1947 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S115) at $192,500
1953 Vincent Black Shadow (Lot F103.1) at $165,000
1936 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot F151) at $159,500
1938 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot S106) at $154,000
1903 Indian (Lot S185) at $143,000
1944 Harley-Davidson FL (Lot S112) at $143,000
1942 Harley-Davidson EL (Lot S110) at $137,500
Otherwise, in no particular order, here are my 10 favorite two-wheelers from Mecum Las Vegas 2021:
If you caught this out of the corner of your eye, you might think at first that it’s a KTM. But it’s packing a 2,500cc engine with Hilborn fuel injection that’s supposedly capable of 200 horsepower when running nitromethane!
It has won multiple championships in the North American Hillclimbers Association and has been campaigned by Jeremy McGrath, Robie Peterson, and most recently, Colby Peck. I couldn’t find video of this monster on the move, but here’s an image of Colby on it from his Instagram profile. This sold for $17,600.
2. 1982 Husqvarna 250 MP Military. In the mid 70s, the Swedish military sent out a RFP for a motorcycle with two priorities – capable on/off-road and easy to ride by a bunch of a young recruits. Husky’s idea was to create an automatic transmission, and the resulting drivetrain was successful enough that it even made it into their MX bikes!
3. 1992 Magnacycle. The Magnacycle was dreamed up and built by Jerry Magnuson, a tool and die maker based out of Santa Ana, California. It took him nearly a decade to go from the idea to bike #1, but the first bike was acquired by none other than Arlen Ness.
According to the builder, he produced about 10 kits before selling the right to another company. They produced about another 20, and that was the extent of the production run. Original MSRP was $799 (another $4000 gave you extras like the exhaust system without muffler, handlebars, crossbrace, instrument panel, battery, fuel gauge, and more), and as you can see, the design was all about getting the center of gravity to be low. The kit was designed to accept a Sportster engine – there were plans for a Magnacycle II with a Honda engine but that never happened.
For more information on this crazy bike, check out Magnacycle.net. This sold for $4,950, which was low enough that I almost bid on it myself.
4. 2010 JRL Cycles Lucky 7. I’ve featured this bike before, but it was still incredible to see in person.
JRL Cycles built a production run of 4 REMs – Radial Engine Motorcycles. This one was the prototype.
The 4 production bikes apparently sold for an average price of over $100,000 – and this prototype apparently cost over $150,000 to build. The bike has won several awards and it would obviously draw attention wherever it goes.
This ended up selling for $38,500 – though it got up to $45,000 without meeting reserve when it was listed on eBay the last time I featured it.
Mitchell introduced a new design for 1903 with a stronger frame and a 4 hp single. The previous 2 hp model had a claimed top speed of 40 miles per hour, but the new machine would get you up past 60 mph, or a mile per minute.
It sold for $40,700. I started this post with a reference to Paul, so it seems fitting to end with one, too. Here’s a lovely video he created (the first Vintagent Original after his site redesign) about a 1930 Neander with a JAP V-Twin motor:
Hope to see you at the next one!