A few days ago an Oldsmobile F88 concept car sold for $3,000,000. Then a press release arrives about a Cobra sold at $2,133,000. With all of this money flying around, I started wondering what classic motorcycles were going for on the auction block. I found the site for MidAmerica Auctions and looked over the prices from the Las Vegas auction last month. I have no idea if these prices are representative of other auctions so I have to take what I found as just one possible outcome.
Prices were all over which reflects the range of motorcycles available but I was a little surprised. The Brough Superiors in the $40,000 range or the Ariels for the same money were about what I expected but then I saw early Harley Davidsons not selling at $70,000. In fact, looking over all of the results, Harleys seemed to outpace just about everything else.
Classic muscle cars are hot right now so maybe the same American muscle idea is what carries HD to the top spot even though the early Harleys were the pricey ones and from a performance standpoint there are many other brands that would do better. Maybe the chopper phenomenon with Orange County Choppers and Jesse James’ West Coast Choppers is contributing even though those custom choppers are not HD’s but a collection of HD like parts and pieces with custom frames and metalwork. Whatever it is, it’s interesting to see what people are spending their money on.
I mentioned the chopper that went for $52,000 at Barrett Jackson and knowing what some of the new custom choppers are going for, they easily outpace the auction prices for classics. With cars, very few customs approach the price for true classics.
I wonder what the highest price is that someone has ever paid for a motorcycle at auction. I never really paid attention but these cars got me curious.