1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089

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Lot 133
1937 BMW R12 with Steib
Frame no. 18250
Engine no. 3089

Sold for US$ 20,125 inc. premium
1937 BMW R12 with Steib
Frame no. 18250
Engine no. 3089
• Landmark BMW model
• Part of the Gerhard Schnuerer Collection
• Perfectly serviced and maintained

Following the collapse of its aero engine business after WWI, BMW turned to other areas of manufacture, motorcycles among them. BMW's first model, a two-stroke ultra-lightweight marketed as the Flink, was a failure but its next venture was more successful. BMW's General Director Franz Josef Popp had asked designer Martin Stolle to come up with a proprietary power unit and the result was the M2B15, a engine that would be supplied to other manufacturers, such as Victoria, as well as being used to power the BMW-made Helios.
Victoria having switched to another supplier, BMW's Chief Designer Max Friz set about producing a motorcycle superior to the Helios and one that would be worthy of carrying the BMW name. Warming to the task of designing motorcycles, a mode of transport he hitherto had despised, Friz and his colleagues Rudolf Schleicher and Franz Bieber drew up the R32, the first really outstanding motorcycle design to emerge after WWI.

Launched at the Paris Show in 1923, and the first motorcycle to be sold as a BMW, the R32 featured a 494cc, twin-cylinder, sidevalve engine having horizontally opposed cylinders, and this 'flat twin' layout would forever be associated with the marque. Setting a pattern that endures to this day, BMW's first motorcycle was relatively expensive but superbly engineered and constructed, while the quality of finish was of the highest order. It was an immediate success.

In 1930 BMW broke fresh ground with the launch of the pressed-steel-framed R11, and followed that up in 1935 with the introduction of an hydraulically-damped telescopic front fork on the R12, the first time such a device had been seen on a mass-produced motorcycle. Also notable as the first BMW motorcycle to have a four-speed gearbox, the R12 was a huge success with approximately 36,000 produced up to 1938, and was used by the Wehrmacht in the war's early years before the introduction of the purpose-built military R75.

This BMW R4 is part of the stunning Gerhard Schnuerer Collection and just like any vehicle from that collection, the bike was taken care of as a museum piece, serviced, maintained and kept to the highest standard possible. A large history file retracing the bike's history up until the late-1990s and various correspondences between Mr. Schnuerer and BMW specialist will be handed to the buyer after the sale.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the Frame number is 18230 and the title is in transit.
Contacts
1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089
1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089
1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089
1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089
1937 BMW R12 with Steib Frame no. 18250 Engine no. 3089
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

Please Note the Buyer's Premium for this auction is as follows:

The final bid (hammer) price of each lot will be subject to a buyer's premium. For MOTORCYCLE property the premium is 15% on the first $100,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the bid price exceeding $100,000. For MOTORCAR property the premium is 12% on the first $250,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the bid price exceeding $250,000. For AUTOMOBILIA and other non-motor vehicle property, the premium is 27.5% on the first $3,000 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $3,000 up to and including $400,000, 20% on the amount above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000, and 13.9% of any amount which exceeds $4,000,000.

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