Wide Open Wyoming

This past Fourth of July weekend; I had the chance to help my old friend, Mitch Silver, at his annual Jackson Hole collector car auction. Mitch was the one who introduced me to the collector car business and helped to start my career as an auctioneer.

If you have never visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming; you should definitely put it on your bucket list. Where the twisting Snake River wraps around the Teton Mountain Range, there you will find and experience one of our country's most scenic areas.

For twenty six years, Mitch has held his annual Fourth of July sale at Teton Village. This year, the auction did not disappoint; delivering another excellent assortment of cars and western memorabilia.  We sold a wide variety of cars, with everything from a 1932 Oldsmobile to a 1966 Dodge Cornet Hemi. There were late-model classics and even a handful of vintage motorcycles

It was really great to return to the old stomping grounds and to reconnect with my old friends and to enjoy some of that Wyoming hospitality.

Bikes and Lattes

The combination of perfect weather, no weekend work and a fully functioning vintage motorcycle all added up to make a memorable Saturday afternoon ride around my wonderful city, Portland. I wish I could have more time for weekends like I did this past weekend. My neighbor and fellow biker nut buddy had a great ride to Portland's newest motorcycle inspired coffee shop. Located in historic St. Johns, Two Stroke Moto Cafe is fast becoming the destination ride for PNW riders and coffee drinkers. It was great to join all the other Portland riders, talking motorcycles and enjoying coffee. The guys there make a great vanilla latte.

Yeah, Portland's built up a lot of traffic since I've lived here; but when everything lines up, it's still one of the greatest places to ride a motorcycle.

Las Vegas Motorcyle Auction

This year I had the chance to attend Mecum's Annual Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas. I happened to be working in Vegas anyway, so I met a bunch of friends a day earlier to catch up over a few bikes and beers.

It was Mecum's 25th anniversary event and they had an awesome selection of bikes this year; over seven hundred to be exact. Whatever kind of bike you were looking for or interested in, it was there.
The bikes that I'm most into are the ones that were produced from the mid-seventies up through until the early eighties. I have always felt that the bikes built in this period offer riders style and power; best of all appreciation in value.

One of the bikes that caught my attention was a 1983 Kawasaki GPZ750. I owned one of these bikes back in 1984. At the time, motorcycles were making the transition from bikes with just a straight-line speed and quick acceleration to what has now evolved into today's modern sport bike. The GPZ had uni-track suspension, ventilated front disc brakes, and a powerful 92hp motor. So is the second generation Kawasaki GPZ poised to take off in value? I think if you could find one for less than $4,000, it would still be considered a good buy. The one which sold at the Mecum auction, while not perfect, still went for $4,250.

Bob Lanphere's Bikes

One of the best vintage motorcycle collections in the world is located just outside of Portland in nearby Beaverton, Oregon. This collection is made up of over 400 vintage bikes; 150 of which are housed under one roof. It was assembled by the late Bob Lanphere, who was a motorcycle enthusiast and racer, as well as car and motorcycle dealer. Bob opened his first Honda dealership in 1964 and built an automotive empire here in the Pacific Northwest. He celebrated 50 years of business in August 2014, before passing away October 2015 at the age of 81 years. He was an inductee of the Trailblazer Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Many of the bikes in his collection are in original, showroom condition. While others have been restored to their original specifications. No matter, they are all beautiful; and together, make up an impressive and thorough example of a great, old bike collection. Though Bob's collection is predominantly comprised of Hondas, there is also an excellent representation of English, German and other Japanese manufacturers.

I was personally and especially interested in the turbo-charged bikes of the early 1980s and his vast collection of vintage Honda mini bikes. Looking at all the bikes from the sixties, seventies, and eighties; brought back a lot of memories of motorcycles that I lusted after when I was kid.

For more about Bob's legacy and vintage cycle collection, go to his Honda motorcycle dealership website: http://www.beavertonmotorcycles.com/custompage2.asp?pg=vintage_bike_collection.

Happy new year!

Happy new year!

The holidays are behind us. The kids are back to school. The auction business is back in full swing.

In the month of January, there are no less than five auction houses, which will sell over $200million worth of classic cars in the matter of a week. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Scottsdale Arizona between January 10th through till the 18th, that's where the first big auction events of 2015 will take place.

If you are a fan of vintage motorcycles, Las Vegas Nevada is the place to be. With Bonhams and Mid-American offering up close to a thousand bikes starting January 8th and ending on the 11th. I'll be at Bonhams checking out some of the rare bikes that will be crossing the auction block into the garage of some lucky collectors.

Then by February, fundraising season starts up again. Most not-for-profits have their spring events booked. Now is the time when autumn fundraising committees are securing their dates for venues, entertainers and caterers.