Back in January 2023, the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa announced that it would permanently close its doors in September 2023. Financial struggles only exacerbated in recent years were cited as the primary reasons, which is unfortunate but not surprising.
The museum was founded in Sturgis, South Dakota by John and Jill Parham, who also founded J&P Cycles. It moved to its Iowa location in 2001. John Parham died in 2017 after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis, which undoubtedly made both personal and business matters rougher for the family’s operations.
While some items on display at the NMM were on loan, many (if not most) were part of the John Parham Estate. In April 2023, the Museum announced that a Mecum Auction event would be held on its premises in September 2023, to auction off the entire John Parham Estate Collection. At the time, it listed 300 bikes and over 6,000 pieces of art and motorcycle memorabilia to be offered as part of the sale from September 6 through 9, 2023.
Fast-forward to August 11, 2023, and both Mecum and the National Motorcycle Museum are gearing up to host one last major gathering before shutting the museum doors forever. The full auction catalog is now available for your perusal over at Mecum. While there are plenty of pieces of American motorcycling history included in the collection, there are also several interesting European and Japanese machines included, as well.
Here are some of the notable bikes that caught our eye as we skimmed the catalog:
- 1937 Brough Superior SS80
- 1915 Flying Merkel Twin
- 1920 Harley-Davidson Davis Powered Bicycle
- 1960 Pannonia Csepel 250 TLF Deluxe with Duna Sidecar
- 1911 Excelsior Auto Cycle
- 1957 Rikuo RQ 750
- 1913 Sears De Luxe Dreadnought Twin
- 1952 Vincent Rapide
- 1920 Moto Guzzi Normale Flat Tank
- 1972 Honda CB500 Road Racer
- 1929 Opel Neander
If custom choppers are more to your liking, Mecum also posted a video showcasing the screen-used Dragon bike from the Peter Fonda film Wild Angels. Like everything else at the NMM, it’s for sale at this auction. There are also a pair of Harley-Davidson Easy Rider replica bikes, as well as an Asphalt Angel custom trike built by Ed Roth.
Be sure to check the link in our Sources if you want to peruse the catalog and/or plan your bidding activities. All the bikes in the sale will be offered with no reserve.