Crocker motorcycle world record up 9.2% at Bonhams auction

A trio of Crocker motorcycles have broken the existing world record for the US manufacturer at a Bonhams auction.

A 1937 V-Twin and a 1940 "Big Tank" V-Twin both sold for $302,000 at the August 16 Quail Lodge, US sale.

Crocker 1940 motorcycle
The Crocker 1940 'Big Tank' sold for $302,000

In the process they beat the previous record of $276,500 by 9.2%, set in 2006 by a 1937 Crocker "Hemi-Head" V-Twin, formerly owned by actor Steve McQueen.

Another 1937 V-Twin also surpassed the previous record, achieving $291,000.

Among the rarest and most sought-after US motorcycle marques, Crockers are rarely seen at auction, explaining the superb prices achieved.

Founded by Al Crocker in 1936, the company made just 150 hand-built motorcycles before the second world war halted production. Just 50 examples exist today.

"Having three documented Crockers in one sale is very momentous," commented Malcolm Barber, CEO of Bonhams, prior to the auction.

The sale is confirmation of the upward trend of the top end of the motorcycle sector.

Bonhams' head of motorcycles Ben Walker recently told us: "We've seen a rise in the values of motorcycles year on year since the recession as people look to reinvest their funds in more tangible assets.

"At the top end of the market we've seen the values of some marques rise year on year between 10-25%. But even at the lower end of the market motorcycles have increased in value by 5-10%."

A 1910 Pierce Four Engine also performed well, selling for $137,000, while a 1913 Henderson Four Frame made $57,500.

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