Mecum opens temporary motorcycle museum in Las Vegas

It’s a spectacular showcase for the MC Collection of Stockholm, which goes to auction in late January

Las Vegas’ newest must-see attraction opened this week, but like some of the best shows on The Strip, it will be available only for a limited time. The show features 82 amazing motorcycles from the MC Collection of Stockholm, Sweden, and they are presented in a display that would be the envy of any vehicle museum.

But unlike the vehicles in an automotive or motorcycle museum, the bikes on display will be available for sale in late January at Mecum Auctions’ annual motorcycle sale at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa.

A contemporary representation of a vintage board-track racing oval provides a base for several of the vintage machines

For more than half a century, Christer R. Christensson and his colleague Ove Johansson and their team of restoration specialists have built the MC Collection of Stockholm to include more than 400 motorcycles, many of them displayed in their museum as if they were purely works of art and mechanical sculpture. 

Christensson reportedly was inspired to open his own museum after visiting the Guggenheim’s landmark “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit in the 1990s.

However, an opportunity to move the collection in 2019 to Tido Castle, a Baroque palace dating to 1645, could not be overlooked, even if it meant there was not sufficient room to display the entire volume. Thus 238 of the machines will be offered for sale at Mecum’s 28th annual Las Vegas Vintage and Antique Motorcycle Auction, scheduled for January 22-27.

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To showcase the consignment, Mecum Auctions has created a stunning display featuring nearly 90 of the motorcycles. It hosted a reception this week for bidders in Las Vegas for the company’s annual collector car auction, and will keep the display open to others until the motorcycles move to the motorcycle auction venue in late January.

“Our commitment to Christer was to make sure people in the United States could capture the essence of his vision for the motorcycles,” said Sam Murtaugh, Mecum’s vice president of marketing and presentation. “We tried to re-create his installation as best we could.”

In Sweden, a group of motorcycles spiral from the first floor to the second in the middle of the museum. In Las Vegas, four machines are suspended from the ceiling, and others are displayed on risers, or on a replica of a section of a wood board track like those on which motorcycles used to race.

The display also includes signs in Swedish and English focusing on Christensson’s guiding principles for his collection, and the names of the designers of the various motorcycles are displayed on huge panels.

Four of the motorcycles hang from the ceiling, casting their shadows on the wall behind

The exhibit is housed in Mecum’s Las Vegas storage facility in an industrial park just off the 215 freeway to the west of the I-15. It will be open free to visitors by appointment until the bikes move to South Point in late January.

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Details for making an appointment should be available soon on the Mecum Auctions website.

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