800 classic motorcycles cross the block in Las Vegas
By Larry Edsall
Not that anyone seems to need an excuse to visit Las Vegas, but motorcycle collectors certainly have reason to be in Sin City in early January, when both MidAmerica Auctions and Auctions America by RM stage major classic bike events.
MidAmerica has nearly 400 bikes on the consignment list for its 21st annual Las Vegas Antique Motorcycle Auction, to be held January 12-14 at the South Point Exhibit Hall on the south end of The Strip, where Steve McQueen's widow, Barbara McQueen, will be "special guest of honor" and where she's putting the King of Cool's 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross on the block.
Making its debut at Las Vegas is Auctions America, with more than 400 bikes available those same January 12-14 dates, but just west of the Interstate at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Bikes on the block range from a 1899 De Dion Buton Peugeot three-wheeler to five motorcycles from the Michael Jordan Motorsports racing team.
And if you can't make it to Vegas for the auctions, don't forget that Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art opens its Steel Ponies motorcycle exhibit March 10 in Indianapolis. See www.eiteljorg.org for details.
More than auctions in Arizona
There will be plenty of classic car auctions in Arizona in January, but there are other auto events taking place in the state for early arrivers.
On January 7, the 5 & Diner restaurant group returns to its roots by staging a Rockabilly Bash, a 12-hour (10 a.m. until 10 p.m.) festival of food, music and cars at Firebird International Raceway just south of Phoenix. See www.5anddiner.com/bash/ for details.
Then, on January 15, the "West Coast" debut of The Quest, a documentary movie about the first Corvette to win at Le Mans, is part of a special vintage racing car show to be held at The Arizona Biltmore. See www.cmcf.eventbrite.com for ticket information.
PAPA's preview open to the public
For the first time, the annual Arizona Auction Week Preview staged by the Phoenix Automotive Press Association will be open to the public. The event begins at 7 p.m., January 18, in Singer Hall at the Phoenix Art Museum.
In addition to presentations by each of the auction houses, a panel of experts -- this year they are Keith Martin of Sports Car Market magazine; museum curator and Pebble Beach judge Ken Gross, and McKeel Hagerty of Hagerty Insurance and the Historic Vehicle Association -- will offer insights into Arizona Auction Week.
Only 100 tickets are available, at $20 each, and include the presentations, panel discussion, a question-and-answer session, goodie bags, door-prize drawing and a dessert buffet sponsored by www.classiccars.com at the conclusion of the program. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go to the automotive restoration education program at McPherson College.
For ticket information, visit http://papa.eventbrite.com.
Motoexotica auction January 14-15
Kick-starting Arizona Auction Week again will be the Phoenix Classic & Exotic Car Auction being staged January 14-15 by Motoexotica, though at a new venue -- Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest at 1433 S. 19th Avenue. More than 300 vehicles are on the consignment list, including a 1970 Shelby GT350, 1948 Buick Super convertible, 1956 Austin Healey 100 Le Mans, 1966 Tri-Power Pontiac GTO convertible and 1933 Jaguar XJS-R Coupe, one of only 50 imported to the U.S.
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