World's First Production Motorcycle to Headline Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

Tremendously rare German vehicle joins line-up of nearly 200 motorcycles

A complete 1894/95 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller will highlight Bonhams first Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at The Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino hosted by the Auto Collection on 6th January 2011.
Coming from a private American collection where it has resided for approximately half a century, this 115-year old motorbike has been lightly and sympathetically restored some decades ago and is wonderfully patinaed. In addition to its excellent condition, this pioneering vehicle is of the utmost historical significance - it was the first powered two-wheeler to enter series production and is the first vehicle to which the name "motorcycle" (motorrad in German) was ever applied.

This extraordinary news follows the record-breaking sale of another Hildebrand & Wolfmüller offered by Bonhams at their Stafford auction this April. That 1894 relic caused considerable excitement across the world resulting in a packed salesroom and an above-estimate selling price of £86,200. The model being offered in Las Vegas next January is substantially superior and carries a conservative estimate of $130,000-$150,000.

“Typically, the chance own an authentic Hildebrand & Wolfmüller is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber. “Due to their extreme rarity and historical value they are almost never offered on either the open or private markets. Now Bonhams will have had the opportunity to represent two of these ‘holy grail of motorcycles’ within the space of a year.”

The rare appearance of a genuine Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on the auction block next January will bring buyers from around the globe. For information about the sale, visit

_Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to