Elvis Presley's Harley-Davidson Electra Glide could break world motorcycle auction record
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Source: GWS Auctions