Rare Harley-Davidson FHA
One of the world’s most scarce Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold for an eye-watering $600,000 at a Melbourne auction.
Believed to be an ultra-rare FHA eight-valve racing model from about 1927, the bike was a genuine barn-find. Sold in as-found, as-raced condition – though its last race is believed to have been about 80 years ago, whereafter it was dry-stored.
It sold with battle-scars, flat tyres, dented rims and a period racing sidecar, the bike had all its major parts but was missing details like drive chains and exhausts.
The exact number of FHA eight-valve racers built isn’t known. Certainly fewer than 50 were built between 1916 and 1928 – some believe significantly less – making the Melbourne bike one of the last built. Only a handful of the iconic flat-track and board-track racers remain in existence.
“This has definitely got to be one of the most interesting barn-finds we’ve had in a number of years,” Shannons’ National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon, said.
“The bike had been in storage for over 50 years and it is presented as last raced [which] we believe was in the early 1940s.
“It’s quite a rare item today, especially in this condition.”
A local buyer fought off an American telephone bidder, rumoured to have been representing the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.
The new owner says the bike will be staying in Australia – and wouldn’t be restored.