Vintage Harley Davidson motorcycle has just been auctioned for a record amount of USD 953,000 – about INR 7.73 crore
1908 Harley Davidson Strap Tank motorcycle fetched a record sum at an auction, making it the most expensive motorcycle ever. If you are wondering, how did it manage to fetch such a huge price? Well, this is one of 450 motorcycles Harley Davidson manufactured in 1908. Of those, about 10-12 motorcycles survive today. And the fact that this motorcycle is more than 110 years old, and in working condition.
It is called Strap Tank because it has its oil and fuel tank strapped to its frame with nickel straps. This particular Strap Tank model is a 1908 model year. It wears the Engine no. 2241, Carburetor no. 1049. It has been restored by Paul Freehill.
1908 Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Along with this one being a vintage, and a rare machine, it was also the one with genuine parts – which helped fetch record price. For example, a HD Strap Tank from 1907 was auctioned in 2015 which garnered $ 715,000 (approx Rs. 5.91 crore) after auction fees.
The one recently sold was completely genuine and was not made up of a combination of various parts. Which is why it managed to fetch more money. Just like other Strap Tanks, this one was also built in Harley-Davidson’s original one-storey factory.
The one auctioned in 2015 was not restored to its original condition. Whereas the record-setting 1908 model garnered $ 935,000 (approx Rs. 7.73 crore) after auction fees. Making it a rarer find. Parts including its wheels, engine belt-pulley, muffler sleeve, seat cover and even its fuel and oil tank were declared authentic.
Strap Tanks are a rare find as all of them are now either destroyed or possessed by private collectors. Record-setting 1908 Strap Tank was sold by Mecum Auction in Las Vegas, Nevada. Strap Tank is considered to be one of the earliest models from Harley-Davidson, hence the demand.
Founded in 1903, Harley-Davidson is one of the only two American motorcycle companies to survive the great depression. Another is its arch-rival Indian Motorcycles. Both companies have stood the test of time and have evolved to compete at the highest level in America with Japanese and European offerings.
Vintage motorcycles have a place in most private collectors’ hearts. Previously, we had Vincent Black Lightning auctioned for $ 929,000 at Bonhams Auction in Las Vegas in 2018 as the record holder. Speaking of Vincent, Bajaj has trademarked Vincent name in India. Which is likely to spawn a lineup of classic motorcycles to rival Royal Enfield.