Featured Heaven On Earth For Motorcycle Lovers! Mecum Auction, Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by Sandi T, Feb 4, 2024.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    #1 Sandi T, Feb 4, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
    Last year my husband, Steve, and I hosted a little party at our home to watch the Mecum Vintage and Antique Motorcycle Auction. We had great fun and decided it would be even MORE fun to ride there next year. So we did! Steve and I, along with our riding buddy Russell, rode up to Las Vegas on Tuesday the 23rd to see the 33rd annual Vegas auction.

    Screenshot 2024-02-03 at 9.19.10 PM.png

    We invited several other riding companions but there were no other takers. It turns out that the ride up was for the brave...or crazy...as it rained about 7 out of 8 hours on the road. :eek: But it also turns out that it was completely worth it! It turned out to be, as my thread title said, "heaven on earth for motorcycle lovers".

    Screenshot 2024-02-03 at 7.35.46 PM.png

    The worst of the rain, unfortunately, was all the way through Phoenix on the freeways. It absolutely poured but at least the drivers seemed to slow down. Yep, from going 95 mph to more like 70 mph. Sigh. I decided to just be alert but focused and calm and even began to enjoy myself. Even more so when we finally left the outskirts of the Phoenix Metro area. Phoenix is so vast that it took us nearly an hour and a half going 70 mph to go from one end to the other. Unfortunately, if one is riding to the northwest there's no good way to avoid Phoenix. On the bright side, as we neared the teensy town of Wikeup, a brilliant rainbow appeared prompting me to think, "Well, I guess without rain there can't be a rainbow". Apply that as you see fit. :)

    The town of Kingman presented a double-whammy, rain and colder-still temperatures. But I for one was ready. I had six layers on top including a heated vest and I had four layers on the bottom. I started the day back in Tucson in my rain gear and never took it off until we got to our hotel.

    IMG_8863.jpeg

    This photo is from the same Kingman gas station looking back in the direction from which we'd just come. At this point the product being advertised on the giant billboard was sounding rather inviting at this point. :joy:

    IMG_8867.jpeg

    We stayed in the same casino hotel that was hosting the auction, the South Point Hotel & Casino. We've been to Las Vegas numerous times in the past but had never even seen this place. It's at the very south end of Las Vegas Boulevard aka "The Strip" . It's so far south that you can't really even see any of the other major casinos on The Strip. But the good news there was that since we were riding in from the south, it was relatively simple and quick to arrive at our destination.

    Google image
    Screenshot 2024-02-03 at 7.45.48 PM.png

    Our day's distance was 430 miles and our goal was to arrive before dark. We made it....barely.

    We were able to park right in front of the main doors while we went in to check in. The first thing we did before even going inside was to help each other out of our rain gear. Boy, did that feel good! This poster and antique Harley greeted us just inside the front lobby which only added to our excitement. :)

    IMG_8891.jpeg

    In addition to being pretty worn out, we were also quite grimy, as were our bikes! I know many of you here on this forum wind up riding in the rain a lot so I probably sound a little whiny. But I found myself feeling quite "Zen" for nearly all of the ride. Once everything was wet and it was evident it was going to rain most all of the way to Vegas, I was able to change my attitude and count my blessings. When we finally parked in the parking garage and took a good look our grimy bikes, the first thing all three of us did was start laughing because they were absolutely filthy from top to bottom and in every nook and cranny!

    IMG_7620.jpeg

    IMG_7621.jpeg

    Steve and I had a room on the 20th floor and this was our view. The rates here were quite reasonable which I suspect is partly due to the location being so far from the heart of The Strip.

    IMG_8895.jpeg

    We made a plan to meet up down on the casino floor where South Point's eleven restaurants were located because the first order of business was FOOD! We didn't stop for a proper lunch in the interest of time and just got by on energy bars and Red Bull at our gas stops.

    Continued in my next post....

    IMG_8867.jpeg
     
    • Like Like x 10
    • Love You Love You x 3
  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    #2 Sandi T, Feb 4, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2024
    Vegas Trip Day #1 continued...

    The choice for this evening's dinner was the Garden Buffet. I'm not usually big on buffets, but I certainly made an exception on this day! It turned out to be delicious (if not nutritious) but I had to go get a beer at one of the bars on the casino floor. For some reason, riding a big motorcycle very fast for a long time always makes me crave beer! :joy::joy::joy:

    IMG_8870.jpeg

    Screenshot 2024-02-03 at 9.58.53 PM.png

    In addition to a casino and lots of places to eat, South Point also boasts a movie theatre, a bowling alley (where professional tournaments are often held), exhibit halls for various conferences, and one of the largest equestrian centers & arenas in the United States.

    Steve had to make some phone calls to family but Russell and I were itching to explore. So Steve went up to our room while Russell and I went in search of where the auction was to start tomorrow morning. On our way there we ran across this massive sculpture of Benny Binion on his horse. Benny was considered one of Las Vegas' founding fathers and was the man who brought the National Finals Rodeo to the city years ago.

    IMG_8872.jpeg

    We began to see auction signs as we continued down the hallway. and they became like a trail of breadcrumbs leading us on. Here's Russell with his wallet out. He didn't manage to pull it out during the actual auction, though! :joy:

    IMG_8882.jpeg

    IMG_8883.jpeg

    The signage trail let us straight to our desired destination but the doors were locked up tight. However, there was a sliver of an opening that Russell spotted....an opening just large enough for us to see a motorcycle on display behind the doors. Tomorrow morning it's on!! :):):)

    IMG_8885.jpeg


    IMG_8886.jpeg


    *** So here's the deal. I have SOOO many photos of SOOO many motorcycles and related sights during two days we were at the auction. My plan is to continue posting in this thread each day until I'm out of photos and commentary or until no one is still interested. :joy: However, I think that many of you on this forum will absolutely love seeing these bikes. And I'm eager to hear what you guys have to say about them! I'm sure many of them will be familiar to you but much of this was a new sub-culture for me. I was totally blown away by the vast number of bikes as well as the vast number of brands. I think the oldest bikes we saw were from 1905 or so and there were bikes across the years up until about 2014-ish. I don't know exactly how many there were in total but I do know that about 400 or more bikes up for auction each day for four days. It was dizzyingly overwhelming but in the best possible way. :heart:

    So if you're up for a blast from the past, hang on for the ride. :) Check back often and I'll show do my best to share with you what I saw. I was truly in Motorcycle Heaven. And I already told Steve and Russell I'm going back again next year whether they care to join me or not! :heart_eyes:

    Continued tomorrow...

    image.jpeg
     
    • Like Like x 12
    • Love You Love You x 2
  3. Dawsy

    Dawsy Cumbrian half-wit
    Subscriber

    Aug 24, 2018
    4,816
    800
    Cumbria
    Good to see you back @Sandi T :grinning:
    Bring on those photos!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    You got it, @Dawsy! But be careful what you ask for! ;):joy: I have days worth! :heart_eyes: I also have a lot of photos from a classic car place called Atomic Motors that’s in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas. Russell had been there a few years ago, but the place has expanded. It’s truly difficult to describe in words, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. We went there on our way out of Vegas so I will either add them to this thread at the end of auction action or do another thread about Atomic. :)
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,053
    800
    Yorkshire
    Yikes!! Six layers, heated vest, waterproofs!!?......and I thought Arizona was all sand and sun cream! Maybe I won't emigrate after all!:joy: Just "Tog up and ride" is obviously your riding M.O Sandi. Jolly good show!:p
    As for the bike auction, bring on those pics please!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Love You Love You x 1
  6. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
    Subscriber

    Sep 25, 2018
    1,986
    1,000
    Hertfordshire
    Missed your epic posts, and looking forward to more…

    As for riding in tne rain, I think it’s manageable as long as it isn’t cold too. Then it can become a problem.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Thanks, Tony! Yes, the rain is manageable although not my preference. I'm a "desert rat" at heart. It was cold enough on our trip, though, that's for sure. Especially when we went west on Interstate 40 and through the town of Kingman, AZ. That place is also notorious for high winds which doesn't help matters anyway. We did see snow on some of the nearby mountains but none down on the roads on which we were riding thankfully!

    P.S. I always learn a new thing or two on our trips. This time it was that I need to purchase another 7V battery for my heated vest. I had it on and heating from the start of our trip (and needed it!). But by the time I REALLY needed it (Kingman), it was out of juice. :eek: I sure was wishing I had a backup handy in my other pocket. Live and learn.......;):joy:
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Wednesday -- Day #1 of the auction

    I know I usually post "a day for a day" when I do travel reports but this thread will be the exception. I've been looking through my many photos and will certainly be posting from home multiple days for each of the days we attended the auction (two of the four days total). We were there for the first two days of the auction--Wednesday and Thursday--but it went through Saturday. Evidently the last two days are usually the "big daddy" days with most of the rare and desired (and expensive!) bikes going on the auction block on Friday and Saturday. Next year we'll plan to be there for those days. We actually noticed the change in energy and "vibe" in the arena from Wednesday morning to Thursday afternoon. More bidders and spectators showed up and things were just starting to be cranking! Now we know. That's the other thing I learned on this trip in addition to having that second 7V battery for my vest. ;):)

    I'll be sharing lots of pictures but with fewer than my usual copious commentary. I will throw in some tidbits here and there. Oh, I'll probably share 30 or so photos daily so 3 posts with 10 pics each.

    Ok, here we go! :):heart_eyes:

    We bought two day passes which allowed us to be pretty much anywhere on the auction premises including the auction floor. It's hard to capture the sheer size of this place but I think you'll start getting a feel for that with some of the pics I took.

    This was the first thing we saw when we walked in the arena doors...
    IMG_8899.jpeg

    I learned after we got home that this 1957 Mondial 250 Bialbero Grand Prix Racer brought the second highest price at the auction at $165,000!


    IMG_9079.jpeg

    The entry to the arena was a level above the auction floor and we started here. I'm not sure how many motorcycles were displayed in this area but it was probably at least two or three hundred. This picture just shows a part of this level.

    Screenshot 2024-02-04 at 3.50.25 PM.png

    Our first view of the arena and seating area. The curtain behind the auction area pretty much splits the arena itself in half.

    Screenshot 2024-02-04 at 3.51.50 PM.png

    Here's a bit of info on the arena. One of the primary uses is for equestrian events of all types including rodeos and hunter/jumper competitions.

    Screenshot 2024-02-03 at 10.04.01 PM.png

    Mecum prints out a beautiful catalog of all of the bikes up for auction. In addition, there is a "green sheet" each day with the day's offerings since the catalog winds up being a bit outdated by the time the auction arrives. If I post a photo of a bike that catches your eye and you can see the Lot #, just let me know and I can look up the details for you if I've not included that with the photo. (Hmmm, my green sheets look white in this photo. They really are as green as can be! So the bike paint might not look just like what my eyes saw then, either, I guess.)

    IMG_9593.jpeg

    IMG_9594.jpeg

    Steve and Russell checking out some v-e-r-y antique bikes from our initial "look-see"... :heart_eyes:

    IMG_8910.jpeg

    Here's a bike that was auctioned on Saturday (don't know for how much). This is a 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin 498cc/28HP Twin, 4 Speed that was estimated to go for $35,000-$45,000. In the catalog it said "MC Collection Stockholm Presents a Tribute to Edward Turner". Can any of you clarify the significance of that?? There is a way to go on the Mecum site to look at each bike's sale price but I haven't gotten that far yet. :eek:

    IMG_8915.jpeg

    Offering S165.1 (S is for Saturday). We were nearly back home by the time this OLD bike was up for sale! This is a 1907 Moto Reve 2.5 HP V-Twin 275cc's and estimated to sell between $25K--$30K. Yikes! 2.5 horsepower. I just bought a Vitamix blender that has a 2.2 horsepower motor! :eek::joy:

    IMG_8916.jpeg

    Wednesday Day #1 to be continued...
     
    • Like Like x 9
    • Love You Love You x 1
  9. Iron

    Iron Elite Member

    Dec 29, 2021
    2,586
    943
    Bob Ross Studios
    Edward Turner is credited with the design of the parallel twin cylinder Triumph engine. The concept was, in fact, originally designed by Val Page at Ariel (but don't tell any Triumph owners that or they'll blow some gaskets. Keep it secret :))

    The Speed Twin launched in 1937 with the heady price of £77.15s. ($98)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,053
    800
    Yorkshire
    Wow! That is some auction, a mouth watering selection of motorcycles there Sandi! :grinning: The Arial Red Hunter in the catalogue caught my eye as my Grandad had one back in the day. The only auction (cars) I've ever been to was way back in the late 70's, just as an observer, not a buyer. Wayne Carini's "Chasing Classic Cars" TV show is a favourite watch of mine and often features auctions of cars and bikes. It can be very difficult to predict hammer prices as so much depends on who is bidding on the day and "no reserve" can be very risky but when it comes to rare exotica there are some VERY deep pockets around!:joy:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,053
    800
    Yorkshire
    #11 Pegscraper, Feb 5, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2024
    Ariel actually "owned" Triumph at one point, or at least they were part of the same company.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Thanks for that info @Iron. It's very interesting, particularly because all three of us were smitten by the Ariel's we saw at the auction. I don't know how many there were, but there certainly were enough of them to notice...and they were beautiful. I think I was drawn to the Ariels because of the similarities to the Triumphs. What years was Ariel in business? Oh, yeah.....$98!!!???
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Oh my, you ain't seen nuthin' yet, @Pegscraper! :joy: There was a v-e-r-y mouthwatering selection of motorcycles there. And that's a great way to describe it. I was fairly drooling at some points! :yum I think Steve and I have seen an episode here and there of Chasing Classic Cars. We've also watched other Mecum auctions--both cars and motorcycles--on MotorTrend. But, wow, seeing this event in person has been a game changer for me! I loved both the subculture of "auction world" and also the subculture of not just motorcycles, but vintage and antique motorcycles. Both were a whole new world for me!

    image.png
     
  14. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    #14 Sandi T, Feb 5, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2024
    Wednesday--Day # 1 of the auction continued

    This bike definitely caught my attention early on. It's a 1914 Henderson Four 1068cc Inline, Concours Restoration Estimated to go for $180,000--$200,000. Why do I always gravitate towards the expensive stuff even when I don't know anything about it?! ;):joy: When I looked at the Top 10 for the whole auction, this bike fetched $148,500 and was #3 in the Top Ten.

    IMG_8920.jpeg

    We were still just on the second floor at this point. So many bikes! And so many shapes and sizes and ages of bikes! Check out these DKW Hummel's from the mid-60's. Part retro, part futuristic (think the Jetsons).

    IMG_8925.jpeg

    I think there were five Easy Rider bikes up for auction. We saw one of them go for $26K.Still in the "small" 2nd level space.

    IMG_8924.jpeg

    So, in the photo above, do you see that sign on the far left that says MORE MOTORCYCLES with an arrow pointing down? Well, we went through that magic door and found ourselves on a platform overlooking another area and this amazing sight....

    :eek::eek::eek::grinning::grinning::grinning:

    Screenshot 2024-02-04 at 8.56.32 PM.png

    We figured out that this was the primary space--organized by day--for the bikes to be auctioned and also for bikes that were sold then brought back here after they came off the auction stage. This photo doesn't really do this sight justice. It was mind blowing! Steve and Russell went down the stairs to this level to look around but I was still engrossed in the bikes back on the second level. I think that the bikes slated to bring the highest prices were in that smaller 2nd level area. But I did go down to this arena space on the second day we were there. It was awesome, but also fairly overwhelming in terms of sheer numbers.

    Here's a 1911 Harley-Davidson 78, a 35 cubic inch single auctioned on Friday and estimated to bring $50K-$75K.

    IMG_8927.jpeg

    There were several BMW's like this 1938 BMW R12. I'm not too keen on the boxer type engine but did think the frame and tank design and the paint job were beautifully Art Deco looking.

    IMG_8930.jpeg

    IMG_8929.jpeg

    A couple of very old Indians......

    IMG_8934.jpeg

    IMG_8936.jpeg

    Here's another Top Ten bike! This 1912 Pierce Four, 43 CI Inline-4, 2 speed sold for $137,500 on Friday. We are definitely going to go to Friday and Saturday next year! Forget this Wednesday and Thursday stuff.

    IMG_8943.jpeg

    Continued
     
    • Like Like x 10
    • Love You Love You x 1
  15. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    Wednesday Day #1 of the auction continued...

    IMG_8941.jpeg

    There were definitely some very strange birds among the many bikes we saw including these.... :eek:

    IMG_8954.jpeg

    IMG_8956.jpeg

    IMG_9233.jpeg

    IMG_9237.jpeg

    IMG_9239.jpeg

    IMG_9098.jpeg

    IMG_8984.jpeg

    Time for me to go to bed. More auction action tomorrow! Stay tuned... :)

    But speaking of auction "action", all this time that we were wandering around gawking at bikes, the auction action had actually begun. We probably spent a couple of hours looking at the offerings before we even made our way to the arena to watch the auction.
     
    • Like Like x 9
    • Love You Love You x 1
  16. learningtofly

    learningtofly He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!
    Subscriber

    Sep 25, 2018
    1,986
    1,000
    Hertfordshire
    Do you not have a powerbank at home that you could use?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Markus

    Markus Crème de la Crème
    Subscriber

    Oct 28, 2020
    2,990
    1,000
    AUSTRIA
    @Sandi T:
    Thanks for the great photos and your real interesting and funny report (6-layers).:kissing_heart:
    I have never seen so many historic bikes at an auction before. Only in a museum!:eek:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Bikerman

    Bikerman I used to have 5500 posts.

    Oct 29, 2014
    1,489
    1,000
    Lincolnshire
    [​IMG]
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  19. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    3,053
    800
    Yorkshire
    That photo of all the bikes lined up waiting for auction is amazing! The jury's out for me with concours restorations for two reasons. 1, they will rarely, if ever, get ridden and used as the manufacturer intended and 2, in many cases they are probably restored to a "better than new" condition and almost certainly didn't come off the production line back in the day in such a perfect, pristine condition. Give me a good original condition, useable machine with a little bit of "lived in" patina any day. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  20. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
    Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2018
    21,779
    1,000
    Tucson Arizona
    I don't have one, Tony, though I've thought many times I should get one. But...for the situation I just faced, I'd need to have another battery readily available while on the road to swap out for the depleted one. Would I somehow be able to use a power bank in those circumstances? If not, I just bring my charger with me and charge the battery when we arrive at our destination. I'm always open to new ideas and ways to do things, though!
     
Loading...

Share This Page