World's first production motorcycle could race to $150,000 in Las Vegas

A complete 1894-95 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller will highlight Bonhams' first Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at The Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, on January 6, 2011.

The motorbike comes from a private American collection, where it has reportedly resided for approximately half a century.

According to Bonhams, the 115-year old motorbike has been lightly and sympathetically restored some decades ago and is wonderfully patinated.

In addition to its excellent condition, this pioneering vehicle is of the utmost historical significance. It was the first powered two-wheeler to enter series production and is the first vehicle to which the name "motorcycle" (motorrad in German) was ever applied.

History on two wheels, the 1894-95 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller

Regular readers might remember the record-breaking sale of another Hildebrand & Wolfmüller offered by Bonhams at their Stafford auction, last April.

That 1894 relic caused considerable excitement across the world resulting in a packed salesroom and an above-estimate selling price of £86,200.

The model being offered in Las Vegas next January is substantially superior, says Bonhams, and carries a "conservative" estimate of $130,000-$150,000.

"Typically, the chance to own an authentic Hildebrand & Wolfmüller is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber.

"Due to their extreme rarity and historical value they are almost never offered on either the open or private markets. Now Bonhams will have had the opportunity to represent two of these 'holy grail of motorcycles' within the space of a year."


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