Pierce Museum Harley-Davidson Collection to headline Las Vegas motorcycle auction

9 Jan 2014, The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

The 50+-strong motorcycle collection is to be offered without reserve;
Additional consignments now being accepted

23 August 2013 – San Francisco – Last year's smashing Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at Bally's Hotel & Casino represented several prestigious private collections, attracted buyers from around the globe, saw a world record made for the 1939 BMW Rennsport 255 Kompressor at nearly a half-million dollars, and achieved more than $2.6-million in total. Following that success, Bonhams is now very pleased to announce that it will represent another significant private collection at the January 2014 auction: 50-plus motorcycles from the extensive Wayne Pierce family museum, all offered at no reserve.

Among the machines is the earliest known Harley-Davidson Sportster in existence, a first-year model believed to be the 10th XL883 produced in 1957. Also on the block will be a restored 1933 Harley-Davidson VLE police bike that saw actual duty on the streets of a Chicago suburb before being cast in the Kevin Costner gangster movie The Untouchables.

In business for 55 years, Pierce Harley-Davidson was one of the last remaining true "Mom & Pop" dealerships that formed the backbone of motorcycling in America. Wayne "Pappy" Pierce started his shop in the 1950s in a one-room tin shed in DeKalb, Illinois. From the beginning it was a family operation, with wife Eleanor tending the books. The Harley dealership quickly grew and at one point Triumph motorcycles were added to the showroom, several of which are included in this sale.

The earliest machine in the collection is a 1926 Harley-Davidson JD with unique canoe-style sidecar. Among the rarest is a 1971 Harley Sportster XLH with the controversial Willie G. Davidson-designed "boat tail" bodywork that was available for just two model years. This restored bike also wears the optional 4-gallon long-range gas tank and stock Siamesed exhaust system, both very hard-to-find items.

Barn-find aficionados will be interested in the Pierce's authentic and unrestored 1947 Knucklehead wearing period aftermarket accessories. And for military collectors there's a fully outfitted 1942 WLA, complete with gun scabbard and rifle, shovel and stocked first-aid kit. Additionally, two virtually showroom-fresh Baja 100 racers from the 1970s will also be offered.

In later years, son Wayne Jr. took over day-to-day operations of the dealership, and daughter Marylou also helped out, but the elder Pierce could still be found at the shop until his passing in 2008, telling stories, entertaining customers and tinkering with the bikes in his beloved museum, which numbered as high as 120, almost all in running condition.

With over 50 of these motorcycles being offered, Bonhams is now accepting select consignments to be featured alongside this incredible family collection. Interested sellers should contact:

Nick Smith, Western US: 323-436-5470 / nick.smith@bonhams.com
David Edwards, California: 949-457-9334 / david.edwards@bonhams.com
Tim Parker, Mid-West: 651-235-2776 / tim.parker@bonhams.com
Evan Ide, Eastern US: 917-340-4657 / evan.ide@bonhams.com
Ben Walker, Europe: 44 (0) 20 8963 2819 / ben.walker@bonhams.com

The now-famous 4th annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction will be held January 8th at Bally's Hotel & Casino on The Strip. More information will be posted in the coming weeks at bonhams.com/vegas.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

Contacts
  1. Ben Walker
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2819
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801
  2. Nick Smith
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, 90046
    United States
    Work +1 323 436 5470
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843