23rd time’s the charm: Mecum’s MidAmerica bike sale in Las Vegas sets records

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Photo by Sam Murtaugh | Courtesy Mecum Auctions
Photo by Sam Murtaugh | Courtesy Mecum Auctions
Photo by Sam Murtaugh | Courtesy Mecum Auctions

MidAmerica’s 23rd annual vintage motorcycle auction in Las Vegas not only was its first in the aftermath of the company’s sale to Mecum Auctions, it was the most successful in the event’s history with a three-day total of 441 sales for  $7.475 million.

The sale, held at the South Point Hotel, drew more than 1,100 bidders from 48 states and more than 30 countries, both records for the event. With 537 motorcycles crossing the block, even the sell-through rate was impressive at 82 percent.

Two bikes sold for $200,000 or more.

Photo by Sam Murtaugh | Courtesy Mecum Auctions
Photo by Sam Murtaugh | Courtesy Mecum Auctions

The 1911 Harley-Davidson 7D Twin from the George Pardos Collection went for $260,000 while a 1925 BMW R37 brought $200,000 (see photo above).

Twenty bikes from the Pardos collection were offered and 18 of them sold, five of them among the event’s top 10. In addition to the ’11 Harley, those were a 1936 Harley-Davidson EL “Knucklehead” at $165,000, a 1914 Harley-Davidson 10F Twin at $105,000, a 1928 JDH Twin at $100,000 and a 1915 11F Twin at $91,000.

Other top sales were $125,000 for a 1955 Vincent Black Prince, $97,000 for a 1972 Triumph/BSA TRX 7520, $95,000 for a 1909 Harley-Davidson 5 C single, and $95,000 for a 1938 Brough Superior SS80.

Mecum’s next motorcycle auction is April 13 in Houston.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.