First Production Motorcycle at Bonhams

Collectible Motorcycles

A complete 1894/95 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller will highlight Bonhams first Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at The Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino hosted by the Auto Collection on Jan. 6, 2011.

Coming from a private-American collection where the motorcycle has resided for approximately half a century, this 115-year-old motorbike has been lightly and sympathetically restored some decades ago.

In addition to its excellent condition, this pioneering motorcycle 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.

This extraordinary news follows the record-breaking sale of another Hildebrand & Wolfmuller offered by Bonhams at their Stafford auction this 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 otorcycle being offered in Las Vegas next January is substantially superior and carries a conservative estimate of $130,000-$150,000.

Malcolm Barber (Bonhams CEO) says: "Typically, the chance own an authentic Hildebrand & Wolfmüller is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"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."

The rare appearance of a genuine Hildebrand & Wolfmuller on the auction block next January will bring buyers from around the globe.

For sellers interested in consigning their motorcycles to this anticipated motorcycle auction, there is still time. To contact a Bonhams representative call the US office on 415-391-4000 or e-mail Nick Smith:

For information about the sale, visit


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