Auction of Rare BMW Racing Motorcycles in January

Auction of Rare BMW Racing Motorcycles in January

Early next year, a motorcycle auction will be revving up interest among enthusiasts and collectors with a quartet of competition BMWs going under the hammer, including a rare pre-war Kompressor. This unique collection of four BMW racing motorcycles will be offered at the Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale on January 10, 2013.

Headlining the team of machines is a very rare and much admired Kompressor, or supercharged, 1939 RS 255, the model that legendary racer John Surtees said, “Rightly deserves a place as being one of the all-time greats of motorcycle Grand Prix racing.”

The RS 255 (‘RS’ stands for rennsport, or race sport) is a genuine, documented supercharged 1939 engine (no. 16152) mounted in an authentic 1951 frame (no. 2), not at all uncommon with most factory racing machines. Surtees, who owns the very same year model BMW upon which Georg Meier won the Isle of Man TT (now on permanent display at the BMW Museum), commented that, “The power characteristics are very deceptive…this is a real racing machine.”

Accompanying this motorcycle are three other Bavarian competition machines: a 1954 BMW RS 254, a 1954 BMW RS 254 with Sidecar, and a 1956 BMW RS 256.

“Competition BMWs, particularly those from before and just after WWII, are increasingly gaining interest from discerning collectors,” said Nick Smith, Bonhams US Head of Motorcycling. “They were highly advanced, extremely well-made and successful, and this combination of attributes makes them tremendously desirable.”

No stranger to prominent sales of classic BMWs, Bonhams sold a very rare, factory prepared 1939 BMW RS R51 for $130,200 at the 2010 Las Vegas motorcycle auction. Likewise, this quartet of German racers is expected to attract significant interest, particularly the Kompressor.

The third annual Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale will take place on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino. More information will be available online in the coming weeks from Bonhams.

* Photography by E. Klein. All images courtesy of Bonhams.


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