National Motorcycle Museum: Top 10 Auction Bikes

10 Collector-Grade Bikes from the John Parham Estate Collection… 

Last week, we featured the Indian Scout Wall of Death bike from the collection of John Parham, the late founder of mail-order giant J&P Cycles. John and Jill Parham also founded the National Motorcycle Museum in 1989, which opened in Sturgis with just 40 motorcycles on display and later moved to a former Walmart in Anamosa, Iowa, where J&P Cycles was headquartered. At its height, the NMM housed more than 500 rare and collectible bikes, along with all kinds of road art and memorabilia.

Unfortunately, after nearly 35 years, the National Motorcycle Museum is closing its doors for good next week. What’s more, from Sept 6-9, Mecum will be hosting an auction of 300+ “collector-grade, museum-worthy motorcycles” from the John Parham Estate — machines that had been part of the NMM collection.

Here are a few of the most interesting bikes that will be crossing the auction block.

1937 Brough Superior SS80

  • 982cc Matchless V-Twin engine
  • Burman 4-speed manual gearbox
  • Alloy tank with Black top and logo Black knee pads
  • Matching Black fenders, frame and front suspension
  • Paired Brown leather saddle bags
  • Brough sprung fork front suspension
  • Rigid rear suspension with sprung seat
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale
  • Estimate: $100,000 – $120,000

1915 Flying Merkel Twin

  • V-twin engine
  • Tank shift manual gearbox
  • Orange tank with White script
  • Matching frame, fenders, oil tank and front suspension
  • Famed Merkel rear “mono-shock” suspension
  • Logo foot boards
  • Rear package rack with rear lockable box
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale
  • Estimate: $100,000 – $120,000

1923 Indian Scout Hillclimber

  • 45 CI V-Twin engine
  • Linkert carburetor
  • In-out gearbox with foot-operated clutch
  • Red tank with Gold lettering
  • Matching Red front suspension, frame and rear fender
  • Extended rear single down tube frame
  • Foot boards
  • Dry sump/hand pump lubrication
  • 62 inch wheelbase
  • Please note that this motorcycle is not equipped with brakes
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale
  • Estimate: $30,000 – $36,000

1939 BMW R12

  • 745cc/16 HP 4-stroke side valve boxer-twin engine
  • Amal 6/406SP carburetor
  • 4-speed manual gearbox
  • Hand-operated clutch
  • Black tank featuring White striping with matching fenders and frame
  • 410 lb weight
  • 54.5 inch wheelbase
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale
  • Estimate: $30,000 – $36,000

1912 Indian Belt Drive Single

  • Rare belt drive model
  • 500cc/4 HP air-cooled single-cylinder engine
  • Inlet over exhaust engine design
  • Pedal crank starter
  • Red torpedo tank with Gold Indian logo
  • Matching frame, fenders and front suspension color
  • Brown saddle style sprung seat
  • Sold on A Bill of Sale 
  • Estimate: $50,000 – $60,000

1960 Pannonia Csepel 250 TLF Deluxe with Duna Sidecar

  • 247cc/14 HP 2-stroke air-cooled parallel-twin engine
  • Piston/port induction
  • 4-speed manual gearbox
  • Red tank with White side panels featuring Red logos and Black knee pads
  • Red 2-up seat
  • Matching Red frame and fenders
  • Duna aluminum sidecar in matching Red and White scheme, with a Red seat, alloy “rocket nose,” light and matching wheel
  • 54.5 inch wheelbase
  • Estimate: $5,000 – $6,000

1949 Harley-Davidson WR Factory Racer

  • 45 CI WR factory racing flathead V-Twin engine
  • WICO magneto
  • Linkert carburetor
  • Close ratio tank shift 3-speed manual gearbox
  • Red tank with matching “short” rear fender
  • Drilled accents including shifter arm, brake arm and kick start lever
  • Black springer front suspension
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale 
  • Estimate: $25,000 – $30,000

Wild Angels Dragon Bike

  • Authenticated as the Dragon Bike by Mil Blair, co-founder of Easyrider magazine — from the 1966 film Wild Angels starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra
  • The bike had been disassembled at one point, later found and painstakingly reassembled noting period photos and film footage, with some minor reconditioning
  • 74 CI Panhead V-Twin engine
  • 4-speed manual gearbox
  • Purple tank with Gray dragon design by Von Dutch
  • Matching rear fender
  • Extended springer fork suspension
  • Rigid rear with sprung 2-up seat featuring passenger back rest
  • 21 inch front and 16 inch rear polished spoke wheels
  • Upswept polished dual exhaust with fish tail tips
  • 62 inch wheelbase
  • Includes Mel Blair binder with historical build information
  • Includes Original movie prop jacket in Shadow box display
  • Estimate: $100,000 – $120,000

1961 Tom Reiser V8 Dragster

  • Built and originally ridden by Tom Reiser of Columbus, Ohio
  • Sheet metal work by Gene Remy
  • Transverse mounted 1957 Chevrolet V-8 engine with an Orange block
  • Six carburetors
  • Moroso valve covers
  • Chrome Harley-Davidson springer front end
  • 4-into-1 polished dual exhaust by Bill Althoff
  • Polished spoke wheels
  • Avon front tire and Firestone rear tire
  • Estimate: $10,000 – $12,000

1965 Harley-Davidson CR250 Road Racer

  • Single-cylinder engine
  • Manual gearbox
  • Red tank with Gray side panels featuring the logo
  • Matching Red fairing and tail section
  • Black backed Smiths tachometer
  • Estimate: $10,000 – $12,000

1914 Flying Merkel Twin Board Track Racer Replica

  • Originally built by John Parham and Lonnie Isam, Jr., restored in 2003 by Isam, Jr.
  • 61/17 HP inlet over exhaust V-Twin engine
  • HC carburetor
  • Direct gear drive with jackshaft
  • Drip and hand pump lubrication
  • Orange tank with Black lettering
  • Matching Merkel truss fork front suspension and rear fender
  • Orange single loop steel frame
  • 53 inch wheelbase
  • No Estimate

[Editor’s Note: Actually that’s 11 bikes, not 10, but we all know motorcycles tend to proliferate in close quarters, as in sheds, garages, and feature articles.]

Event Information

Event Schedule

National Motorcycle Museum
102 Chamber Drive
Anamosa, IA 52205

This auction is open to registered bidders only.

Jellystone Park Monticello
22128 Highway 38 N
Monticello, IA 52310


  1. Una delle mie preferite che ho anche disegnato con una linea pazzesca e la Merkel, anche se tutte hanno un certo fascino retrò.

  2. Sorry to see them close, it was a great place to visit.

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