The highlight of Bonhams' 2014 Las Vegas auction will be the sale of 50-plus motorcycles from the extensive Wayne Pierce family museum collection, all offered at no reserve. Among the machines is a first-year Harley-Davidson Sportster believed to be the 10th XL883 produced in 1957, a 1933 Harley VLE police bike that saw actual duty on the streets of Chicago before being cast in the 1987 Kevin Costner gangster movie, "The Untouchables," and an authentic and unrestored 1947 Harley Knucklehead wearing period aftermarket accessories.
Wayne "Pappy" Pierce started his Harley-Davidson dealership in 1957, run out of a one-room tin shed in DeKalb, Illinois. From the beginning it was a family operation, with wife Eleanor tending the books. The shop quickly grew and at one point Triumph motorcycles were added to the showroom, several of which are included in this sale. Pierce was also a successful racer with some 250 trophies to his credit, including wins in the sidecar class at the gruelling Jack Pine Enduro, a two-day, 500-mile slog through the wilds of Michigan. His solo 1956 Harley-Davidson KHRM racer is among the bikes being offered, as are two virtually showroom-fresh Baja 100 racers from the 1970s. 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 death in 2008, telling stories, entertaining customers and tinkering with the bikes his museum, which numbered as high as 120, most in running condition. 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.
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