Herb Harris Collection of Vincent & British Motorcycles to be Auctioned in Las Vegas

Vincent HRD

A selection of important prototype, racing and road models to be featured with a dozen cut-away engines and associated memorabilia at the Bonham’s motorcycle auction in Las Vegas at Bally’s Hotel & Casino, Thursday January 8, 2015.

Following the recent news of an impressive assortment of early consignments to January’s auction – including motorcycles from the estates of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, Bonhams is very pleased to announce the addition of another truly renowned collection, that of Herb Harris.

For years the Herb Harris Collection of Texas has been synonymous with the absolute finest in premium, classic British motorcycles, particularly Vincent HRD. After all, it was Harris who discovered and loving restored with painstaking historical accuracy the Rollie Free Bathing Suit Bike. Being the savior and long-time steward of one of the most famous and important motorcycles in the world was no small responsibility, yet Harris excelled in his role and applied the same meticulous approach to everything that came under his care. Soon, a Harris Vincent came to mean a motorcycle of flawless quality.

The Motorcycles

Motorcycles consigned from this famous collection include the 1946 Vincent “1X” Rapide B Prototype, the first post-War Vincent produced and the first series B Rapide ever created. Interestingly, the engine was – after numerous adoring test rides by the press – converted by the factory to power a military speedboat for the British government. The subject of a feature article in the September 2013 issue of Cycle World, 1X had been lost for nearly half a century until it was discovered, researched and reinstated back as a motorcycle once again by Harris.

Another prototype is the 1954 Vincent Black Prince Prototype, the very first created of this avant-garde model, which creator Phil Vincent called a “two-wheeled Bentley”, and the Earls Court Motor Show display bike.

Other models include an exquisitely restored 1949 Vincent Rapide C with matching Blacknell Bullet Sidecar in striking Chinese Red, a 1957 BSA B34 Works Racer, a 1962 Matchless G50 CSR Silver Eagle with a spare engine, and an early 1949 AJS 7R, among others.

The Cut-Aways

Harris is also known for his extensive collection of rare cut-away, or sectioned, motors – complete motorcycle engines sliced open with precision in order to show the internal workings. These factory-made educational pieces are very scarce today and Bonhams will be offering a dozen of Harris’ from marques Ariel, BSA, Matchless, New Imperial, Norton, Sunbeam and Triumph. Perhaps even more fascinating are the two sectioned motorcycles also on offer – not just engines but complete motorcycles – a BSA Lightning and BSA Goldstar Clubman, which are surely some of the rarest of their kind. The Goldstar, for example, was created specifically for the Earls Court Motor Show, is fully operational, and is fascinating to watch as the inner mechanics and suspension move.

The Artifacts

Being a true collector and historian, Harris also assembled an array of fascinating memorabilia, some of which will be included in the auction, such as the original bill of sale of the HRD company to Phil Vincent in 1928, or some of the first conceptual drawings Phil Vincent made in 1928.

Truly one of the greatest names in British motorcycle collecting, the Herb Harris Collection will, as reported, share center stage with another collection of renown, the Jack Silverman Collection of Italian motorcycles. These two headlining collections will be supported by a 30+-strong private collection of American motorcycles, specifically Harley-Davidson.

More details about the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction scheduled for Thursday, January 8th at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strip can be found at Bonhams.com/Vegas.

Rare Daytona BMW and Isle of Man-Winning Vincent Added to Las Vegas Auction

1972 Butler & Smith BMW F750 and 1947 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide

1972 Butler & Smith BMW F750 and 1947 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide

13 December 2013 – San Francisco – On Friday, January 9th at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, two very special racing motorcycles will be presented with what is perhaps the most impressive collection of motorcycles offered at auction in years. Continue reading

Brough Superior Rides to World Records at Bonneville

The Brough Superior Motor Cycle Team is currently at the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah at the 2013 BUB Speed Trials and has already clinched 3 new world records, in both FIM and AMA.

Photo credit Gary France

Photo credit Gary France


Brough Superior is campaigning two different motorcycles in different classes, a 750cc black “Baby Pendine” and a 1150cc chrome “Road Runner”.

Team riders Alan Cathcart and Henry Cole, both Britons, achieved new world records yesterday astride the Baby Pendine before course and weather conditions worsened.

It is hoped that fellow team rider Eric Patterson, also a Briton, will be able to defend and even exceed Brough Superior’s existing world record tomorrow on the Road Runner.

For more information and updates during this week’s speed trials, visit www.brough-superior.com.

The 2013 Brough Superior Motor Cycle Team is generously sponsored by:

With support from:

Private European Collection to be Featured on The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

Almost 100 motorcycles from a private European collection will feature in the auction during The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show on 20th October, 2013.

ex-Steve Brogan Honda CBR1000RR7

ex-Steve Brogan Honda CBR1000RR7

A single-owner collection of almost 100 classic Japanese motorcycles, the majority of which are Hondas, will be offered for sale at the Bonhams auction during The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show at the Staffordshire County Showground in Stafford, England, on Sunday 20th October.
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Pierce Museum Harley-Davidson Collection at Las Vegas Auction

Las Vegas motorcycle auctionLast 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.
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