With the New Year fast approaching, motorcyclists and collectors will be salivating over Mecum’s 31st Annual Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Auction line up. In 2022, the sales extravaganza takes over the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from January 25 to 29. There are more than 1750 machines consigned with enough variety to keep bidders entertained, regardless of whether you’re backed by a treasure vault filled with gold bullion, or the wallet’s a little flea bitten. Although the majority of machines available have been consigned by individual owners, there are numerous motorcycle collections available. These thoughtfully curated offerings present a unique opportunity for anyone looking for a special machine, and here are a few collections to ponder before watching the auction action.  Will any of them reach the pinnacle of our world famous Top 100 list?

Harley-Davidson Heritage Collection

Without doubt, this is one of the most important collections of Motor Company offerings to become available. It spans the decades, beginning in 1910 with a belt-drive single-cylinder Model 6 to a 2008 Road King 105th Anniversary model. Almost every H-D in the collection has been restored and received attention from the same craftsman, ensuring that the workmanship, which is incredibly meticulous, runs through the entire line of machines. And the motorcycles were restored to as-factory original. There are no Harley-Davidsons here with bobbed rear fenders, Flanders handlebars, extended forks, or custom flame paint jobs. Military models are well-represented, as are the Knuckleheads, Panheads and Shovelheads. The most amazing part? Each one, and there are close to 100 available, is offered without reserve.  Our Publisher Paul d’Orléans was flown out to East Lansing MI last September to film a promo video at the H-D Heritage Collection: watch the film below.


The Bob & Dolva Mitchell Collection

As close as you can get to a Vintagent Brough! This 1938 Brough Superior SS100 was pulled out of South America in the 1980s by Paul d’Orléans and beautifully restored by Bob Mitchell, who has superb standards. It’s a star attraction in Las Vegas! [Mecum]
Bob Mitchell grew up in northern Pennsylvania during a time when mainly secondary roads linked together the local farms and communities. As a youngster, Bob longed for a motorcycle to roam these lanes, but it wasn’t until he was almost finished high school that he acquired a 200cc single-cylinder Triumph Cub. That was soon traded for a 650cc Triumph, and over the years during Bob’s career with NASA, his interest in machines eventually turned from riding to collecting. While he started with Triumphs, Bob expanded his horizons by adding Brough Superior, Indian and Vincent motorcycles. Now looking to pare down his collection, Bob is offering 14 of his machines at this auction, including 1929 and 1939 Indian Fours, a 1938 Brough Superior SS100 and a 1937 Rudge Ulster. All of his bikes are clean and presentable, with many of them having received professional restorations.


The Hamilton Triumph Motorcycle Collection

A rare 1953 Triumph Blackbird – a black Thunderbird specially ordered for the US market. An exquisite Bill Hoard restoration – you won’t find a better one! [Mecum]

Wayne Hamilton’s name will be familiar to those who have visited his website, Wayne’s Triumph Motorcycles (https://triumphmotorcycles.typepad.com/), while looking for information about the British brand. Wayne’s first machine was a Honda 305 Scrambler, but that made way for a 1968 Triumph T100R Daytona, that, unfortunately, he didn’t get to enjoy for long before joining the Navy. It wasn’t until 1998 that he bought another Triumph, this one the exact same year and model that he’d earlier had to sell. The hook was well set when Wayne was introduced to Triumph restoration expert Terry Clark, who was working on a 1938 Triumph Speed Twin when they met. From Terry, Wayne bought an all-original 1959 Triumph Bonneville and soon began buying, and restoring, many of the important Triumphs produced over the years. Now downsizing, Wayne is offering 11 of his Triumphs at Mecum, including the Terry Clark-restored ’38 Speed Twin with its one-year only six-stud base cylinder barrel, a 1953 6T Blackbird and the ’68 T100R Daytona that started it all.


The Bob Guynes Collection

Monster Monkey! This 1973 Honda Monkey Bike has been fitted with a 4-cylinder CB550 motor – simply amazing! [Mecum]

Fabricator and go-fast enthusiast Bob Guynes of California has spent a lifetime racing on Bonneville’s Salt Flats aboard unique machines such as his Salt Shaker III sidecar rig that’s powered by two early-1970s 175cc Honda powerplants. During his years of racing, Bob collected a number of projects, many of which are 1960s Japanese machines. He’s offering at Mecum many of these motorcycles that are described as parts bikes, or projects. However, if anyone wants to tackle the Salt Flats, too, Salt Shaker III is also listed alongside several other versions of Salt Shaker machines. There are Honda 305 Super Hawks, Scramblers and Dreams, 250 Scramblers and road racers, a Honda Formula race car and some two-stroke Suzukis. Not all of them are projects or parts bikes. For example, there’s a custom Honda CB400F engine that looks to have been shoehorned into a Super Hawk chassis, all done up in 1960s café racer trim with a one-off seat, clip-ons and a 4-shoe front brake. It’s très chic. The listing indicates 40 machines, all being sold without reserve, are available from Bob’s unique collection.


The Rare Rupp Collection

Definitely the finest 1972 Rupp Black Widow in the world! And if you were a kid in the early 1970s, this was THE minibike to have. [Mecum]

For those who cut their teeth aboard a minibike, the Rare Rupp Collection offers five of the company’s quintessential mini-motorcycles. Rupp Manufacturing got its start building go-karts in 1959 in Mansfield, Ohio, but expanded their range in 1962 with the addition of minibikes. These bikes were sold under the Rupp brand name and were also sold under the Sears label through that company’s massive mail order catalog. The Rupp machines available here range from 1969 to 1972, and include two Roadsters, two Scramblers and the pinnacle of the range, a 1972 Black Widow. All of these bikes are offered without reserve, and each one has been cosmetically restored while leaving many of the original components intact, including the 50cc to 170cc engines. Paint colors were matched to factory specification, and each little machine is essentially a shining jewel.


[Ed: our Publisher, Paul d’Orléans, will once again hold the microphone for live commentary during the auction for Motor Trend TV.   Motor Trend has taken over the broadcast of Mecum’s Las Vegas motorcycle auction, which remains the largest motorcycle auction in the world.   We’ll keep you posted on dates and times for the broadcasts via our social media: The Vintagent Facebook and The Vintagent Instagram. ]
Greg Williams is Profiles Editor for The Vintagent, a motorcycle writer and publisher based in Calgary who contributes the Pulp Non-Fiction column to The Antique Motorcycle and regular feature stories to Motorcycle Classics. He is proud to reprint the Second and Seventh Editions of J.B. Nicholson’s Modern Motorcycle Mechanics series. Follow him on IG: @modernmotorcyclemechanics