If you’ve ever been to an auction, you know the sound of the auctioneer seemingly babbling nonsensical dollar amounts while you decide if you’ve got enough room in your garage for another motorcycle. While Ken and Dylan have gone to the Mecum auction for the last few years, this year was my first time. Dylan tried to express to me the sheer number of motorcycles that would be lined up for the auction block, but I still wasn’t ready.
Mecum Auctions is the world’s largest vintage and antique motorcycle auction. It’s held at the South Point Hotel & Casino each January and boasts a five-day auction schedule that has about 1,500 motorcycles cross the block. Now, keep in mind, if you’re trying to picture the size of this auction…. it’s held in this particular hotel because it has the capacity for horse competitions. That’s show arenas, bleachers, practice arenas, paddocks, etc. All transformed to house iron ponies looking for new homes.
When they say “antique and vintage,” they mean it. I saw some ridiculously old and unique motorcycles at this auction. And guess what? They sold. For, like, a LOT of money. Below are some interesting ones: 1964 DKW Express, 1912 Indian T.T. Model, 1946 American Moto-Scoot Model 745 and the 1949 Monark Supertwin.
It was pretty eye opening for me to see the different iterations of motorcycles. There were bicycles with an after-market engine all the way to super charged modern motorcycles, all parked next to each other. It was also interesting to see different year brands parked next to each other and see how they have evolved.
Below are two motorcycles that we actually bought, side by side. The 1972 Honda CB750K versus the 1982 Honda CBX1050 just shows what a difference 10 years makes in motorcycle design.
These two Hondas just happened to be parked next to each other, but they’re another example to show how the design has evolved. The 1978 Honda CX500 and 1971 Honda CB450, in a short 7 year period.
There was tons of “moto” related art and memorabilia for sale as well. We never really saw the sun during the auction because it’s a full 8+ hour day of inspecting, grading, auctioning, and photographing. I’m still not sure I saw ALL of the bikes.
In a future blog post, we will have features on each of the bikes we got from the auction. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Click here for the 2019 Mecum Auction photos!