The price - enough to buy a
three-bedroom home in a nice suburb - is an Australian
record for a motorbike at auction.
Christophe Boribon national auction
manager for Shannons, who sold the Harley, described the
sale as a "watershed moment" for classic bikes in Australia.
This machine is one of the world's
rarest Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an FHA 8-Valve V-Twin
racer with period sidecar attached.
The engine of this Harley-Davidson FHA
8-Valve V-Twin racer last saw track action in the 1930s.
There were less than 50 of these
built by the America manufacturer – some say considerably
less – in the period from 1916 to 1928. This one is dated to
about 1927, making it one of the last to be built.
The Harley was last raced in the
1930s before being put away in a dry storage facility for
more than 50 years.
It remains virtually untouched since
the end of its racing days and is believed to be one of
only a handful of 8-valve Harley-Davidson racers to survive
in original condition.
Built for speed, the Harley-Davidson FHA
8-Valve V-Twin was purposely priced outside the
affordability of the average motorcycle rider.
"Motorcycles of this calibre have
been undervalued on the world market for some years, so this
is truly a rare find," Boribon says.
The buyer is unlikely to restore it.
The bike is what is known as a "barn-find" and is worth far
more in its current condition - complete with flat tyres and
dents - than it would be if it were restored.