At the end of January 2023, we learned the sad news that the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa would be closing later this year. Citing the intertwined struggles of financial woes and low attendance, the museum announced tentative plans for its closure on its social media pages to allow all who wanted to visit one last time to hopefully have a chance to do so. 

While some of the bikes on display at the museum have been on loan from collectors who aren’t part of the museum, the majority are part of the John Parham collection. At the time it announced its impending closure, the Museum also mentioned in passing that those bikes would be auctioned off. Now that it’s April 2023, we have more information about the John Parham Estate Collection auction, to be held by Mecum in September 2023. 

From September 6 through 9, 2023, Mecum will host the John Parham Estate Collection at the National Motorcycle Museum auction event. There, it says, over 300 collector-grade motorcycles and over 1,000 lots of road art will be offered for sale to the highest bidder. In total, over 6,000 pieces will be offered, and will find new homes during the course of the event. 

Among the notable bikes that will be offered at auction are the following: 

  • 1936 Norton International Road Racer 
  • 1927 Brough Superior SS100 Pendine 
  • 1955 Vincent Black Prince 
  • Two Vincent Rapides 
  • 1952 Vincent Black Shadow 
  • 1937 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead 
  • Additional bikes from Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph, BSA, and many more OEMs, both well-known and not 

Over in the Road Art section, a bronze bike engine sculpture created by Jeffrey Decker is the headliner. Created in 2002, it features a 1937 Harley-Davidson EL engine, and was crafted to honor legendary racer Joe Petrali’s record-breaking run at Daytona. If that’s not cool enough, another headlining piece in the art collection is a Von Dutch hand-engraved helmet, which has appeared in several magazines and depicts a tattoo-inspired history of all Von Dutch’s personal bikes that he owned. 

As of April 25, 2023, Mecum has a placeholder page for this auction up on its website, but no details of lots are available at this time. All bidders will be required to register in order to place bids, with registration starting at $100. Interested parties can register online via the Mecum website, which we’ll link in our Sources. Registration will also be available on-site at the auction, which will take place at the Museum itself in Anamosa.  

In-person registration will include admission for up to two people to attend the auction for all the days of the event. Those unable to attend in person will be able to bid remotely online or via telephone. A preview day for this event will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. 

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