Record BMW collection sells for $1.57M

1924 BMW 493cc R32 sells for $165,000

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 01, 2009
The world’s largest private collection of BMW motorcycles sold for a total of over 1 million euros.

The entire collection was sold for a total of 1,038,400 euros (US$1.57 million), well over the pre-auction estimate of 590,000-780,000 euros. The collection was put up for auction by Neutken’s estate after the former BMW dealer died in 2008. The entire collection was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest motorcycle collection of a single make.

All 94 lots of the Willy Neutkens BMW Motorcycle Collection were sold in the Nov. 28 auction. Over 1,000 people attended the auction at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany, with over 320 bids registered.

Selling for US$165,000, the 1924 BMW R32 was one of the first motorcycles to be sold under the BMW name.

The highest-selling motorcycle was a 1924 BMW 493cc R32. Launched in 1923, the R32 was the first motorcycle to be sold with the BMW name (the manufacturer had produced two prior models, sold as the Frink and Helios). Powered by BMW’s M2B15 493cc engine, the R32 began the manufacturer’s legacy with the Flat Twin engine design. BMW built 1,500 R32 units in 1924. The R32 in the auction was the target of five bidders, eventually selling for 109,250 euros (US$165,000), nearly triple its initial estimate.

The BMW Museum which hosted the auction came out the winner for lot 76, a 1953 R67/2 used in the International Six Days Trial by the West German team of Georg Meier, Hans Roth and Walter Zeller. The team placed third in the 1953 ISDT with Meier and Roth earning gold medals. The ex-works 1953 BMW R67/2 sold for 26,450 euros (US$40,000).

“I was delighted with the outcome of today’s sale, it was a pleasure for my company to work closely with Bonhams. They presented a first class auction,” says Fred Jakobs, the museum’s motorcycle archivist. “We too were delighted to have acquired the Ex-Works, ISDT, 1953 BMW R67/2 for our collection. It has come home and will be on display here at the museum next year. It is the grandfather of our Enduro bikes”

A BMW R67/2 used in the 1953 ISDT will have a new home in the BMW Museum in Munich.

The most sentimental winning bid came from the original owner of a 1982 BMW 649cc R65LS. The woman who won the bid purchased that exact motorcycle when it was new and proceeded to ride over 105,000 miles on the R65LS over 14 years. The woman was reunited with the bike after a bid of 2,530 euros (US$3,800).

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