HomeThe MarketBonhams adds special auction of American-motorcycle collection

Bonhams adds special auction of American-motorcycle collection


A classic 1930 Indian four-cylinder motorcycle with matching sidecar will be offered  at auction | Bonhams photos

Bonhams’ motorcycle auctions in Stafford, U.K., will have a strong American twist this year with the special sale of 60 antique and vintage predominantly U.S. bikes, some more than 100 years old, coming from a private museum in Italy.

The collection will be offered October 17 during the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at Staffordshire County Showground, followed October 18 by the annual Autumn Stafford Sale of more than 280 mostly British, Italian, French and Japanese motorcycles at the same location.

The unique profile of a fine 1911 Flying Merkel track bike

Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles, said of the American-motorcycle auction, “This is an incredibly rare find; 60 fantastic collectors’ motorcycles, all carefully stored in the Brescia-based private museum of entrepreneur and CEO of the Santoni Group, Tiberio Lonati.”

A four-cylinder 1910 Pierce is valued into six figures

The Lonati collection includes such rare gems as a 1930 Indian 1,265cc Model 402 four-cylinder with matching sidecar, 1916 Henderson 1,000cc Model F, 1920 Harley-Davidson Model J racer, 1915 Thor 1,000cc Model U and one of the early greats, a 1911 Flying Merkel 500cc competition motorcycle. The most highly valued bike in the collection is a pristine 1910 Pierce 688cc Four, with a pre-auction estimate of $91,000 to $120,000.

Harley-Davidsons through the ages are well-represented in the Lonati sale.

“Mr. Lonati loved what motorcycles represent, ‘complete freedom’, the open road, something highly synonymous with U.S. motorcycle marque Harley-Davidson – which is perhaps why he had so many,” Walker added.

The second day of the Bonhams auction will feature a sweeping array of European and Asian motorcycles, ranging from such rare and valuable classics as the star of the show, a 1937 Brough Superior valued at $320,000 to $360,000, to a number of Japanese sport bikes from the ’60s through the ’90s. British two-wheelers include such famous brands as Ariel, BSA, Norton, Triumph, Velocette and Vincent.

For more information about the Lonati collection, see the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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