1914 Henderson Model C – Motorcycle Investments

1914 Henderson Model C

1914 Henderson Model C

Have any of you been following the eBay auction for the 1914 Henderson? As I write, the price is $101,100 and the reserve has not been met! Oh baby. This could get interesting, I haven't seen any auctions hit this territory for, ... well, ... I can't remember when.

As many have watched their 401k portfolios shrink, hard assets can sometimes do wonderful things. Do not construe this as investment advice of any kind and we've discussed this hot button topic before at some length, but if you have some spare funds available, it's not the worst thing to put your money in.

UPDATE: Bidding ended at $140,600, reserve was not met.

Link: 1914 Henderson - auction has ended

Related: Motorcycles as Investments

Comments

  1. HoughMade says

    I got out when it went over $37.50. That’s very nice, a real survivor. Nice that an unrestored, original runner exists, but a little sad it didn’t get used as intended back when (only 1,200 miles). Their loss, our gain, I guess.

  2. Lloyd Gloekler says

    Interesting that e-bay has become a base for the sale of high end motorcycles. I was at the Mid-America auction in Las Vegas in January and watched a 1939 Brough Superior SS100 reach $230,000. What a heart stopper that bidding was and it ended as a no sale.

  3. kneeslider says

    Lloyd,
    eBay has been attracting some pretty interesting bikes with sale prices and reserves higher than I’m used to seeing. I’m not sure what economic trend that indicates, or if it’s just coincidental, but it is happening.

  4. lostinoz says

    Houghmade,
    There doesnt seem to be a speedometer thus the mileage when asked for was some random number that was entered. “1234″ is the most common number entered for numeric codes there is. luggage is most often coded as that at first (think spaceballs the movie)
    1200 miles or 120,000 miles, its still a beautiful piece of history, and while its way to rich for my blood, good luck to the bidders!

  5. says

    Important questions:

    1) What did this sell for last time it changed hands, and in what condition?
    2) What did one of these things sell for new in 1914?
    2a) What’s that in 2009 dollars, and what would you have now if you had invested it at, say, 4% annually since then, or invested in Coca-Cola stock, or GE stock, or some other benchmark company that’s sitll around?

    Beautiful bike. Looks a lot like a four-cylinder version of “modern” mopeds. Be kinda fun to build a replica or period-inspired custom motorized bicycle.

    cl

  6. FREEMAN says

    That’s a gorgeous bike for being nearly a hundred years old and, from what the seller says, unrestored.

  7. Kenny says

    Shame you can’t really ride these things on the road anymore, it’s just suicidal.
    I remember seeing a Indian Powerplus at a vintage rally, no clutch, effectively no brakes and all torque. Kudos to the old timer who was riding the machine, you wouldn’t get me up on it.

  8. HoughMade says

    “Beautiful bike. Looks a lot like a four-cylinder version of “modern” mopeds. Be kinda fun to build a replica or period-inspired custom motorized bicycle.”

    In deed- I have a pre-WWI insppired motorized bicycle (featured previously on Kneeslider) and there is some beautiful work being done with custom frames that exceed what I have done.

    Bikes like the Henderson have inspired me to make my next project a full blow, road legal motorcycle- a 10/10ths sized pre- WWI motorcycle.

  9. Scotduke says

    Henderson bikes were at the top end of the market for the time. I remember having a close look at a slightly earlier model than this in a museum and the build quality was impressive when you consider when it was built.
    I’ve ridden some pretty ancient motorcycles and the brakes were terrifying. But I’ve never ridden anything as old or as valuable as this. I hope the new owner keeps it in its current state and takes it for the occasional spin round the block.
    I’d love it but could enver afford anything as costly as this.

  10. says

    Terrific looking machine but the price seems to be quite high, especially as it did not meet reserve.

    You have to wonder what the owner’s motivation was – to actually sell it or to see how high the bidding might go.