Motorcycles

Elvis Presley's Harley-Davidson Electra Glide could break world motorcycle auction record

Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for more than 30 years
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for more than 30 years
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for more than 30 years
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum for more than 30 years
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has just 126 miles on the clock
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has just 126 miles on the clock
On display for the last 30 years at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, the 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide is still titled and registered in Elvis Presley's name
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On display for the last 30 years at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, the 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide is still titled and registered in Elvis Presley's name
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day is certainly one of the most prominent motorcycles in media history. The Terminator 2 Fat Boy sold at a Profiles in History auction for $512,000
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The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day is certainly one of the most prominent motorcycles in media history. The Terminator 2 Fat Boy sold at a Profiles in History auction for $512,000
Buddy Holly’s original 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle was a gift to Waylon Jennings in 1979 by members of Holly’s original Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin and Jerry Allison, on the occasion of his forty-second birthday
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Buddy Holly’s original 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle was a gift to Waylon Jennings in 1979 by members of Holly’s original Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin and Jerry Allison, on the occasion of his forty-second birthday
Jerry Lee Lewis' 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead sold for $385,000 on January 24, 2015 at a Mecum auction. The bike was given new to Lewis by Harley-Davidson. Elvis Presley was given one on the same day
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Jerry Lee Lewis' 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead sold for $385,000 on January 24, 2015 at a Mecum auction. The bike was given new to Lewis by Harley-Davidson. Elvis Presley was given one on the same day
Steve McQueen's most famous motorcycle, the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross he rode during Bruce Brown's 1970 feel-good motorcycle movie, On Any Sunday, sold at auction in October, 2018 for $230,500
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Steve McQueen's most famous motorcycle, the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross he rode during Bruce Brown's 1970 feel-good motorcycle movie, On Any Sunday, sold at auction in October, 2018 for $230,500
Marlon Brando was a motorcycle enthusiast and when the 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide he owned from new went to auction, it sold for $256,000 at a Julien's Hollywood Legends auction
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Marlon Brando was a motorcycle enthusiast and when the 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide he owned from new went to auction, it sold for $256,000 at a Julien's Hollywood Legends auction
One of the most enduring motorcycles in popular media was the 1949 Triumph 500cc Trophy ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli ("Fonzie" or "The Fonz", played by Henry Winkler) during the 11-year run (1974-1984) of the television sitcom Happy Days. it sold for $179,200 at Juliens in Los Angeles in 2018. That price makes it by far the most expensive Triumph ever to sell at auction, surpassing the 1973 Triumph/BSA Formula 750 Factory Racer that fetched $104,760 in Mecum's Las Vegas auction in January, 2014
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One of the most enduring motorcycles in popular media was the 1949 Triumph 500cc Trophy ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli ("Fonzie" or "The Fonz", played by Henry Winkler) during the 11-year run (1974-1984) of the television sitcom Happy Days. it sold for $179,200 at Juliens in Los Angeles in 2018. That price makes it by far the most expensive Triumph ever to sell at auction, surpassing the 1973 Triumph/BSA Formula 750 Factory Racer that fetched $104,760 in Mecum's Las Vegas auction in January, 2014
Bonhams set the world record for a motorcycle at auction when it sold a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning for $929,000 at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. One of just 30 Black Lightnings made, the completely original and unrestored Vincent set an Australian speed record in 1953 when Jack Ehret rode it to an average speed of 141.5 mph
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Bonhams set the world record for a motorcycle at auction when it sold a 1951 Vincent Black Lightning for $929,000 at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. One of just 30 Black Lightnings made, the completely original and unrestored Vincent set an Australian speed record in 1953 when Jack Ehret rode it to an average speed of 141.5 mph
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide
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Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide

Elvis Presley's last motorcycle, a 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide with just 126 miles (203 km) on the clock, is going to auction later this month at GWS Auctions, and is estimated to sell for between US$1,750,000 and $2,000,000.

The current world record price for a motorcycle at auction was set last year when Bonhams sold a Vincent Black Lightning for $929,000, but a spate of celebrity motorcycle sales in recent times suggests the Elvis Presley provenance could result in the sale of the most expensive motorcycle in history.

Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has just 126 miles on the clock
Elvis Presley's 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra Glide has just 126 miles on the clock

The Electra Glide was only ridden very sparingly by Elvis, and will go to auction showing just 126 miles on the odometer. The bike has been on display at the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, for over 30 years.

Jerry Lee Lewis' 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead sold for $385,000 on January 24, 2015 at a Mecum auction. The bike was given new to Lewis by Harley-Davidson. Elvis Presley was given one on the same day
Jerry Lee Lewis' 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead sold for $385,000 on January 24, 2015 at a Mecum auction. The bike was given new to Lewis by Harley-Davidson. Elvis Presley was given one on the same day

Motorcycles once ridden by entertainment superstars have been breaking records in recent years with Rock & Roll's original bad boy, Jerry Lee Lewis, selling his 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead Duo-Glide for $385,000 at a Mecum auction in 2015. While "the Killer" is without doubt one of the most famous performers of all-time, his cred on the auction block pales compared to "the King."

The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day is certainly one of the most prominent motorcycles in media history. The Terminator 2 Fat Boy sold at a Profiles in History auction for $512,000
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day is certainly one of the most prominent motorcycles in media history. The Terminator 2 Fat Boy sold at a Profiles in History auction for $512,000

Another high profile motorcycle, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from Terminator 2: Judgment Day fetched $512,000 at a Profiles in History auction, beating out the Jerry Lee Lewis Panhead Duo-Glide, and Pope Francis's 2013 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide (€241,500 / US$327,000) as the most expensive modern day Harley-Davidson to sell at auction.

The Terminator Fat Boy also became the second most expensive Harley-Davidson ever to sell at auction, behind only a 1907 Harley-Davidson "Strap Tank" Single ($715,000), indicating that celebrity provenance is key to the price a motorcycle fetches at auction.

Buddy Holly’s original 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle was a gift to Waylon Jennings in 1979 by members of Holly’s original Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin and Jerry Allison, on the occasion of his forty-second birthday
Buddy Holly’s original 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle was a gift to Waylon Jennings in 1979 by members of Holly’s original Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin and Jerry Allison, on the occasion of his forty-second birthday

Other examples of superstar provenance considerably enhancing the value of motorcycles include Marlon Brando's 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide that sold for $256,000 at a Julien's Hollywood Legends auction, Buddy Holly's Ariel Cyclone 650 that fetched $450,000 at a Guernsey's Auction, Fonzie's Triumph Trophy 500 from Happy Days fetching $179,200 to become the most valuable Triumph ever sold, and Steve McQueen's Husqvarna 250 that sold for $230,000.

One of the most enduring motorcycles in popular media was the 1949 Triumph 500cc Trophy ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli ("Fonzie" or "The Fonz", played by Henry Winkler) during the 11-year run (1974-1984) of the television sitcom Happy Days. it sold for $179,200 at Juliens in Los Angeles in 2018. That price makes it by far the most expensive Triumph ever to sell at auction, surpassing the 1973 Triumph/BSA Formula 750 Factory Racer that fetched $104,760 in Mecum's Las Vegas auction in January, 2014
One of the most enduring motorcycles in popular media was the 1949 Triumph 500cc Trophy ridden by Arthur Fonzarelli ("Fonzie" or "The Fonz", played by Henry Winkler) during the 11-year run (1974-1984) of the television sitcom Happy Days. it sold for $179,200 at Juliens in Los Angeles in 2018. That price makes it by far the most expensive Triumph ever to sell at auction, surpassing the 1973 Triumph/BSA Formula 750 Factory Racer that fetched $104,760 in Mecum's Las Vegas auction in January, 2014

Source: GWS Auctions

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