Mecum just concluded their auction of E.J. Cole’s Collection in Las Vegas. It was a barnstormer! Story told on Cycle World is that old man Cole tortured ardent suitors for any part of his collection by making ever more impossible $$ demands. Then one day, he directed Mecum to sell ’em all to see what they would fetch.

That collection consisted of 220 American made cycles.

At this auction, the world auction record for motorcycles was set by a 1915 Cyclone at a crisp $842,000. It belonged to Steve McQueen from whose estate Cole bought it in 1984. The Cyclone was only in production for 3 years – enough time to create a legend. They set speed records with a brilliant bit of engineering for an OHC V-twin engine.

At $715,000, a 1907 “Strap Tank” single with beautiful original paint became the most expensive Harley-Davidson ever sold. This would have been the world record if the Cyclone hadn’t sold first. Just shy of $425,000 got you third place – and with that bid someone took home an original paint 1911 Flying Merkel motordome (board-track) racer.


Above is example of board-track racer, not of the Flying Merkel that was successfully auctioned.  Looks like fun for thrill-seeking dangerous minds.

Click on Las Vegas Mecum Auction to get more results of the Cole Auction.