300 bikes for sale as National Motorcycle Museum closes

Mecum Auctions

We’ve known that the National Motorcycle Museum would close on September 5 of 2023, but only this week did we learn that hundreds of bikes and thousands of pieces of memorabilia will be sold to the public days after the doors are closed for the last time. The sale will be handled by Mecum Auctions and is set for September 6–9, according to the auction house’s website.

The collection is the brainchild and passion project of John and Jill Parham, founders of J&P Cycles. John was also inducted into the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Hall of Fame. The Parnham’s founded the museum 22 years ago in the Anamosa, Iowa, building which it currently occupies.

Though Mecum has yet to post a complete list with final descriptions, we do know that 300 motorcycles will be consigned, along with 6000 pieces of artwork and memorabilia grouped into roughly 1000 lots.

The heavy-hitter bikes include a 1936 Norton International Road Racer and 1927 Brough Superior SS100 Pendine, along with a 1955 Vincent Black Prince, a pair of mid-century Rapides, a 1952 Black Shadow, and more. A desirable 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead—one of Hagerty’s 2023 Bull Market picks—is just one of the noteworthy Harley models expected to sell.

A preview day will kick off the sale on September 5. Those interested in bidding will need to register and pay $100 either in Iowa or online, in advance, on Mecum’s website. Bidder’s registration includes tickets for two people to attend the sale, which is only open to registered bidders.

Window shopping and dreaming are free, though, so be sure to check in as the sale approaches to see updated listings.


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    My father in law had a gas powered, three-wheeled golf cart, but I doubt that answers your question

    Yep, it was called a servi car. I actually rode one years ago. Not mine tho’ just a coffee run.

    As of 2000, Richmond, Va PD still had servi cars still on duty. They escorted my dads funeral procession to the cemetary, stopped at the gate, and saluted as we drove in.

    Don’t forget the ’82-’83 Tri-Hawk. Picture a 1980s version of the Polaris Slingshot, with a Citroen flat four engine up front.

    They made what they called a “Servi-car” , which could have a wrecker boom, delivery box or a passenger seat. Really neat looking.

    The parking “enforcers” in Milwaukee rode Servi-cars in the fifties, as they chalked tires to determine if the vehicle had been parked in a spot for more than the posted time.

    Seems like a cool place. We had a car museum close, not too far from me in San Marcos. It was a great place for old cars from prewar to the late 50’s.

    Sad that another great museum is closing. Surely one of the billionaires in this country is a motorcycle enthusiast and can keep this museum alive. Or how about Jay Leno?? C’mon Jay, we need you to save this place!!

    Visit the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, to see the world’s largest collection of motorcycles — 750 on display. On the ‘Net as http://www.barbermuseum.org. Definitely worth the trip. (Not to mention its sizable collection of Lotus cars.)

    Barber may not be the largest collection……Ted’s collection @ Motorcyclepedia in Orange County, NY may be the largest and most complete collection.

    In Detroit, in the ’50s, it was common to see a car towing a Harley trike with car dealership logos. Following delivery of the car, the dealership employee removed the clamp-on hitch from the car’s rear bumper and rode the Harley back to the dealership.

    Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum down in Maggie, Valley, NC is pretty amazing too. Would be great to see some of these motorcycles find a home there.

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