MECUM Las Vegas

By Shannon Venturo

I am confident that when most motorcycle enthusiasts take a look at that picture of the huge room full of over 1,750 bikes, they see vintage and custom motos, their hopes, dreams, favorites etc.   I see a little glimpse into what heaven surely must look like!   They hit it out of the park once again.

Mecum’s 28th annual Las Vegas vintage motorcycle auction was held January 22-26 at the South Point Hotel and Casino.   An incredible 235, no reserve motorcycles came from the highly publicized, world renowned, MC Collection of Stockholm, Sweden.  Talk about show stoppers.  The grandiose display was really incredible to look at.  It is rare that this many beautiful machines are on display at one time.  But this is the stuff that Mecum, founded by Dana Mecum in 1988, specializes in.  Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company that continues to set the world class, quality bar as they have grown.  It is clear why they have the highest volume of sales domestically of all auction companies.

What sets them apart from other auction companies? They are open to motorcycles and cars of pretty much any value and condition.  While Mecum is a brand that you quickly recognize as that televised auction that showcases rare and very expensive motorcycles, that maybe only the well-to-do could bid on, this is just not the case.  Each time I attend I am sad I wasn’t registered as a buyer on one hand, and glad on the other hand.  My garage just couldn’t hold another bike.   

The Crème de le crème of American V-twins, a 1935 Crocker Big Tank, stole the show.  Restored by Michael Weigert in Germany and overseen by Crocker expert Chuck Vernon, this 1000cc Crocker fetched $704,000 when the gavel dropped! When Crocker built these bikes, they intended it not only to be the fastest production motorcycle in the world, but the strongest and best handling too.  I bet back in the 1930s no one even gave it a thought that one day in Sin City it would bring nearly three  quarters of a million dollars when it crossed that auction block.  The crowd went absolutely wild when “SOLD” rang out!

Ok so I told you the Crocker stole the show right?  Well now I am going to tell you what stole my HEART!  The Strider Bike Collection!  Yep!  I got my first look at these cuties in Sturgis 2018.  These custom Strider Riders were unveiled at the Builder’s Breakfast at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip CrossRoads , as the first stop on their year-long tour. Builders include: Rick Fairless, Paul Yaffe, Jody Perewitz, Pat Patterson, Kirk Taylor, Bryan Fuller and Donnie Smith.  These cutting edge, custom builders and industry influencers came together to support veterans suffering from PTSD and provide technical education scholarships. The Flying Piston Builders Breakfast is produced by Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Famer Marilyn Stemp of Iron Trader News and Jeff Najar of Biker Pros.

Fantastic lady and philanthropist, Heather Slaughter won the bid on my personal favorite.  With spoke wheels twice the size of the stock wheels, and Rick Fairless’ signature psychedelic tie dyed paint job, this lil Strider would surely be a Bling Deva little tikes special.  To compensate for the taller wheels, Rick stretched the rear end four inches, built some RF Custom Z bars and added the hip springer front end.   

And check out Paul Yaffe’s Captain America-style Chopper Strider, with the classic all-American, red, white and blue theme.  It features a Low Brow peanut gas tank and LePera miniature king and queen seat, complete with studs, of course!  I can’t wait to see the new Class of 2019 unveiled in Sturgis this year at the world Famous Buffalo Chip.

I was honored to speak with Flying Piston Program Director Marilyn Stemp at the auction in Las Vegas.  “Every one of the builders went over the top to create one-off, unique works of art. The little bikes’ diminutive size made them stand out among the 1,700 ‘real’ bikes at the auction, earning over $9,000 for our charities.” Their primary beneficiary from Flying Piston Events is Motorcycle Missions. They aid U.S. military veterans dealing with PTSD who are pursuing careers in motorcycling.  According to Marilyn, proceeds have contributed nearly $17,000 to Motorcycle Missions and tech education scholarships. As the mother of a four-time combat Marine, this warms my heart.

Mecum is a huge contributor to charities like this and Curing Kids Cancer.   To date, Mecum and CKC have raised over 4 MILLION DOLLARS together.   That is just incredible.  It’s these hometown attitudes that the staff has at Mecum that make them the clear choice as an auction company.   I always have the best time.  The staff and attendees are a special group.  Mecum throws quite a shindig.   You can catch the action in Phoenix March 14-17th  at State Farm Stadium, 1 Cardinals Drive, in Glendale, AZ.

Mecum’s website is updated daily with the latest consignments, including detailed descriptions and photographs of the motorcycles. To view the list, consign a motorcycle or register as a bidder, visit Mecum.com, or call (262) 275-5050 for more information.

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