A 1908 Harley-Davidson motorcycle has fetched a record-breaking six-figure sum at auction.
The 1908 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank sold for $935,000 at the end of January, making it the most valuable motorcycle ever sold at auction, according to a news release from Mecum Auctions, which sells collector cars and vintage motorcycles.
The vintage bike was discovered in 1941 in a Wisconsin barn and then kept in the state for the next 66 years, according to the news release. Indiana collector Paul Freehill “expertly restored” the bike. The model includes the motorcycle’s original tank, wheels, engine belt pulley, seat cover, and muffler sleeve.
The Strap Tank is one of only 450 motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson in 1908, says the release. Less than a dozen are thought to have survived to 2023 — and fewer still are in as good condition as the record-breaking model, according to the auction listing.
The early models earned the name “Strap Tank” because “of the nickel-plated steel bands suspending the fuel and oil tanks from the frame,” says the listing.
The bike “established the pattern for all future production, combining a clean yet conservative styling, a somber color scheme, heavy-duty cycle parts and an engine a little bigger and stronger than the rest,” according to the listing.
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