Record-breaking BMW motorcycle collection for sale

Bonhams is privileged to announce that it will be handling the dispersal sale of the Willy Neutkens Collection of Important BMW Motorcycles, which will be held at the BMW Museum in Munich on 28th November 2009.

A legend among BMW collectors, Willy Neutkens, who sadly died last year, amassed an astonishing collection of the Bavarian marque’s motorcycles in a career spanning several decades, earning him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 for owning the most examples of a single make. His collection consists of almost every model built since BMW commenced motorcycle production in 1923.

Once he had handed over to his son the day-to-day running of the family business, MotoPort Neutkens, Willy was able to devote himself full-time to his collection, scouring the world looking for rare BMW models and missing components. Every motorcycle in the collection has been painstakingly and lovingly restored by Willy with the help of BMW, which gave him access to its archives in Munich. By the time BMW Netherlands organised an exhibition of the Neutkens Collection in 1998 to mark BMW’s 75th anniversary as a motorcycle manufacturer, it comprised some 73 motorcycles; by the turn of the Century, this had grown to over 100, almost all of which will be offered for sale by Bonhams in November.

Particular highlights include early models such as the 1923 R32 (estimate £30,000-40,000), a pair of R42s dated 1926 and 1927 (£18,000-22,000 and £17,000-20,000 respectively) and a 1927 R47 (£20,000-25,000). Other noteworthy pre-war models include the 1930 R16 (£15,000-18,000) and the 1936 R17 (£12,000-16,000).

Also on offer are some outstanding wartime models, such as the 1942 and 1943 R75 Kriegselefant sidecar outfits painted in Afrika Korps colours, which are expected to achieve between £20,000-25,000 each. Once owned – and raced – by Isle of Man TT-winning motorcycling legend Georg Meier, the 1953 R68 ISDT is estimated at £17,000-20,000.

Other post-war models include a 1966 R69S (£8,000-12,000), 1973 and 1975 R90S (£6,000-10,000 each) and the R100 Classic – last of the old-style twin cylinder ‘Boxers’ – which was presented to Neutkens by BMW and remains unused (£5,500-6,000.

Ben Walker, Head of the Motorcycles Department at Bonhams said: "It is a privilege to offer this collection on behalf of the Neutkins family. Not only is it one of the most prestigious collections of BMW motorcycles in the world but it is also taking place at a world class museum – The BMW Museum in Munich."


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