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Barn Find Sets Record

DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,160 admin

Bidders go the whole hog as Harley-Davidson makes $600,000 at Melbourne auction


James Cockington

James Cockington

Ultra-rare '27 Harley sells for $600,000

There aren't many Harley Davidson 8-valve racers left in the world, which is why this one is expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. A rusty, dusty, unrestored 90-year-old Harley-Davidson with dented wheels and flat tyres sold for $600,000 at a Melbourne auction on Monday night. 

The winner of the auction - a local man - beat off an American phone bidder for the bike and told the room afterwards that he'd be keeping the Harley in Australia. 

Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin  sidecar passengers needed to ride lying down

Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin sidecar passengers needed to ride lying down.

The price - enough to buy a three-bedroom home in a nice suburb -  is an Australian record for a motorbike at auction. 

Shannons national auction manager Christophe Boribon described the sale as a "watershed moment" for classic bikes in Australia.

This machine is one of the world's rarest Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an FHA 8-Valve V-Twin racer with period sidecar attached.

The engine of this Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin racer last saw track action in the 1930s

The engine of this Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin racer last saw track action in the 1930s.

There were less than 50 of these built by the America manufacturer – some say considerably less – in the period from 1916 to 1928. This one is dated to about 1927, making it one of the last to be built.  

The Harley was last raced in the 1930s before being put away in a dry storage facility for more than 50 years.

It remains virtually untouched since the end of its racing days and  is believed to be one of only a handful of 8-valve Harley-Davidson racers to survive in original condition.

Built for speed the Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin was purposely priced outside the affordability of the average motorcycle rider

Built for speed, the Harley-Davidson FHA 8-Valve V-Twin was purposely priced outside the affordability of the average motorcycle rider.

"Motorcycles of this calibre have been undervalued on the world market for some years, so this is truly a rare find," Boribon says.

The buyer is unlikely to restore it. The bike is what is known as a "barn-find"  and is worth far more in its current condition - complete with flat tyres and dents - than it would be if it were restored.   

As Boribon says: "Things are only original once."

David

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