Auction Houses. The Motorcycle Broker eats his words and there’s a new kid on the block.

Having been disparaging of auction houses in earlier articles, such as this one, I find myself happily eating my words. Previous experiences of paying to place my motorcycle in the catalogue, the cost of transporting the machine to the auction and then paying 15% plus VAT in commission, means that a decent sale price must be achieved. However, when the auction house, just days before the sale, demand that I reduce the reserve price to below what I can achieve on Ebay, or to remove my machine from auction, it’s hardly surprising that I developed a distaste for auction houses.
I am now sitting here with my knife, fork, plate and a bowlful of those words and am fully prepared to eat them. Coys of Kensington put on a great auction at Blenheim Palace on 11th of July 2014. The classic car market has become the alternative investment market of choice, for high net worth individuals. However, as there are not enough classic cars to go round, the classic motorcycle market is becoming the emerging market power house, when it comes to alternative investments. However, like classic cars, it’s also driven by the fanatics as well as the investors. There were 91 cars, of which 80% sold and 90 motorcycles, two of which set new world records for the prices achieved.
Coys have been around since 1919, renowned for their classic car auctions and with a great client list of buyers all around the globe. They gave up on classic motorcycles in some time ago, as it was too much of a niche market. However, due to the market being so lively and growing so rapidly, they decided that now is the time to get back in and how right they were. Their catalogue was a production of the highest standard and sent out to over 25,000 willing recipients worldwide. The event itself was very well organised and they only charge 10% plus VAT instead of 15%.
“Mystery” telephone bidders who never actually buy anything seemed absent, yet genuine telephone bidders who actually bought lots were present. There was a great bidding war between someone on the phone who won the 1950 Harley Pan Head, restored by Warrs. He kept upping the price by only £500 per bid, until the price hit £21,000 when he jumped to £23,00 plus fees. The other bidder pulled out and the Pan was his. You can usually tell when the phone bidders don’t exist, because they never win anything, but plenty was sold over the phones at this auction.
All in all, Coys have a great reach, are well respected by their buying clients and they treat entrants with vehicles to sell with the utmost respect and understanding. The games, I have come to expect at such events were only noticeable by their absence. I sold my Bultaco Pursang 360, 1971, for a figure I am very happy with. They achieved two new world records for the sale price of an Indian four at £89,600 inc fees and a 1953 Mondial 125 Monoalbero racer which sold for £59,360 inc fees.
Although there were some stunning MV Agustas, BSA Rocket Goldies, BSA Rocket 3s, Ducati round cases and square cases, Moto Guzzi Gambalungas, a Laverda, Honda CB750s, which made very strong money indicating how powerful the emerging market is in classic motorcycles. There were Bultacos, Montesas, Kawasaki H2s, a very rare, genuine Phil Read Replica and three Honda CBX1000 six cylinders. For a look at what was on sale, I will shortly be putting together a short video of the auction, on my Youtube channel, called The Coys Auction summer 2014. My Youtube channel is called The Motorcycle Broker.
With ninety classic motorcycles, of excellent quality, in their first classic motorcycle auction, Coys are the new kid on the block. They had attracted powerful bidders, they had famous people bidding for machines and a distinct lack of shenanigans practised by other big name auction houses. All in all, I will be putting quite a few of my personal collection in their Christmas auction and will be bidding against the big boys for what ever catches my eye. The quality of the motorcycles for sale was excellent and the sale was run beautifully.
Should you require advice about investing in classic motorcycles, looking for classic motorcycles for sale or are after a specific machine, have a browse round and contact me here. And remember if you’re after a specific classic motorcycle, if it isn’t for sale on my site, then I probably know where there’s a good one for sale.

Now, where’s my knife, fork, salt and pepper….

Paul Jayson

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