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"The Era is gone forever...
fortunately the motorcycle remains."

     That's the slogan MidAmericas 15th Annual Vintage Motorcycle Auction
kicks off with in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12th through to the 14th 2006.As I walked into the auction room I was greeted with a rainbow of colors and chrome with every major manufacture I could think of being represented with

  some of their past models. Bikes as early as a 1907 Indian twin racer to today's limited production sport bikes were up for auction. Some are beautiful and fast, basic and sophis-ticated, each bike has a story to tell, the words probably being less important than how they looked.

      I sat down with Director of Operations Ron Christenson before the auction started and asked him a few questions on the future of Vintage motorcycles and his auction.

This is MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycles Auction 18th year, our 15th year here in Las Vegas. We have 3 annual auctions one in Texas one in St. Paul Minnesota and one here in Las Vegas. This auction will have a total of 425 bikes auctioned off in 3 days with some coming from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Canada, USA, Hawaii, Japan, Germany and the UK. We have found that motorcycle collecting has been growing in recent years with collec-tors that usually collect classic cars are venturing into the classic motorcycle market. The price of classic cars weather they are foreign cars or Muscle cars
Vincent HRD, 1948 Norton Manx SOHC
and a 1916 Thor Model U

have grown so much in the last few year with some muscle cars reaching more than 3 or 4 hundred thousand dollars, so spending ten or twenty thousand dollars on a classic motorcycle is a real bargain to these collectors.

1974 MV Agusta 750 America 750cc (red) sold for $40,500. 1970 MV Agusta Roadster Four sold for $27,000

I asked Ron what are the rarest bikes in this auction?

"We have quite a few rare ones this year, there is a 1974 MV Agusta 750 America with serial number 0001 and the younger brother of that the 1970 MV Augsta 600 4 cylinder roadster model that has never been started with NO miles on it.

      Another one I'm excited about is an original (except for the updated seat) 1952 Vincent Comet with it's original paint in light blue, Vincent only built 5 of them in this color and were built as a test for the US market. When and they arrived in the US and the people at Vincent took a look at them, they decided
to stop production immediately because they thought no one would buy

these light blue colored bikes in the US.Most Vincent's were painted black, some were red. I talked to the president of the Vincent owners club of America and he only saw 1 other light blue Vincent about 20 years ago and he has lost track of that one. This one is authentic, we ran the serial number for confirmation and found that
this bike was one of the five bikes manufactured in

1952 Vincent Comet 1 of 5 built in blue
sold for $19,250. Behind 1966 Scott Flying Squirrel 600cc sold for $10,000

Britain and sent to the US. It would need a restoration but I would say $20,000 would be a bargain for that bike as it sits now, maybe $50,000 to $75,000 when restored". We also have a few famous bikes up for grabs this year.

An Indian and a Triumph waiting for their turn on the block.
Steve Mc Queen's" On Any Sunday" 1972 Husquarna also seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated Aug. 23 1971 issue. Dan Gurney "All American Racers" 1970 Yamaha 750 Factory Racer and first Japanese motorcycle to win an AMA Grand National flat track race September 25, 1970. The Harley Powered 1990 Land Speed Streamliner that was raced by Dave Campo's and Don Vesco. Records were set by Kent Riches.The bike still holds two world records on the Bonneville Salt Flats were all up for sale.

     Q: Are their any bikes you would not accepted in the Auction?

     A: If its a late model street bike that you can find in your local newspaperon a daily basis, if the serial numbers have been altered in any way or if a bike is overpriced I wouldn't accept it. People don't travel all this way to buy a 2 or

3 year old street bike, they just don't so it's just a waste of time.

     Q: Will there be any changes for next years auction?

     A: Yes we are moving to a new larger facility next year here in Las Vegas.We will be auctioning 2 bikes at the same time 30 or 40 feet apart. We found that a

Plenty of bikes with no reserve

faster auction will keep the bidders from wondering off into the casinos and miss their auction. A good customer of mine that has bought about $500,000 of bike from us over the years and explained what happened to him at last years auction.

1969 Honda CB750KO Sandcast
sold for $12,000
He had a couple of hours before the bike he wanted came up for auction so he wondered into the casino for an hour or so and when he came back the bike he wanted was auct-ioned off. He had to have this bike in his collection so he approached the new owner and make him an offer, they came to an agreement and sold him the bike for $9,000.00

more that what he just paid. So a quicker paced auction will hopefully keep bidders from wondering off and missing the bikes they want to bid on.

What do i need to know if I want to bring a bike into Canada?

     A: If your coming down from Canada to buy a US registered street bike or two a very important detail to remember is to make sure it has a "US Certificate of Title" issued from the individual State it's coming from, it doesn't

1974 Ducati 750 Sport sold for $11,000

matter if the bike is 10, 20 or 30 years old you will need it for a street bike to cross customs hassle free. If it's an off road bike, motocross or race bike you

1915 Harley Davidson Board Track Racer
sold for $39,000
don't need a State Issued Title to bring it across the border. If the bike is coming from the UK or elsewhere in Europe make sure the bike has a "current" registration that's what you'll need when you bring it into Canada. About 90% of the bike here have this title clearly stated on the bikes description tag. Transporting your bike is another issue you have to

address. We have a transporter here that will transport your bike to any port or boarder crossing you want, they will ship your bike or bikes to the closest US

border warehouse. Prices for this service range from $300 to $700 depending on the distance From their you could get a licensed Canadian transporter to pick the bike up and bring it across the border or you could go over with your truck or trailer and retrieve it yourself. You will need to pay whatever duty you pay at the

1951 Indian Dispatch Tow sold for $35,500

customs border crossing. So know what your getting into before you bid on it.
I would be hard pressed to buy that "certain bike" with the amount of

1960 CZ Cezeta sold for $7,700

quality bikes available to overwhelm my senses. As the new owner of a
1960 CZ Cezeta explained to me "I came here to buy a Triumph couldn't resist buying the Cezeta, I can always buy a Triumph but their are only 3 Cezeta's known to exist in the US and am very excited with my purchase.

    These motorcycles, beyond being prod-ucts up for auction are rolling manifestos on the past, as pretty as any precious art hanging on a wall (and more fun to ride).
Is this capitalism at its core? Is this a bad thing? we all have our opinion but i can tell you I'm glad to see these motorcycles be it restored or not still with us to enjoy.
1937 Brough Superior SS80 1000cc
sold for $40,000


Article & Photo's © The Canadian Classic Bike Exchange

Sales results from MidAmerica Auctions held on January 12 -14, 2006
in Las Vegas can be seen on:

The Canadian Classic Bike Exchange
Entire contents Copyright © 2005-2006 All rights reserved.