Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Henderson and friends up for auction

Readers of this blog might remember the item posted back in March ("Lunch with Henderson") which described the collection of classic bikes to be found at Capt Eddie Rickenbacker's bar in San Francisco's SOMA district.
Capt Eddie Rickenbacker's bar on 2nd Street
Now we've learned that the collection, including the1941 Indian formerly owned by movie star Clark Gable and the 1913 Henderson which kept us close company over lunch, is to be auctioned by Bonhams during the Pebble Beach automotive week at Carmel, California, in mid-August.
The Eddie Rickenbacker Collection was assembled by the bar's late owner, Norman Hobday, who realised that if one classic motorcycle displayed in the bar created interest, then lots more must draw a crowd. And that's what his collection of bikes, US Civil War firearms, toy trains and antique lamps has been doing for several decades.
Clark Gable's 1941 Indian given to him by Gone with the Wind
producer Samuel Goldwyn.

It's a pity to see it all go - or at least to see such a memorable motorcycle haunt disappear.
The bar traded on the name of American World War One flying ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, who went on to a distinguished career as the head of Eastern Air Lines (USA). He was also a pioneer in automotive design and one-time owner of Indianapolis Motor Speeday. He died in 1973 at the age of 82.

The Indian formerly owned by Clark Gable is expected to attract strong bidding, but so will many of the other classic motorcycles, including the rare Henderson in-line four. Bidders with money and style are probably queuing already (although "to queue" is a very English thing and not likely to be the favoured approach of many Pebble Beach attendees).

The bar at Capt Eddie Rickenbacker's - that lunchtime shot
will never be the same without the motorcycles for company.

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