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Rare motorcycle collection auctioned

The Lonati motorcycle collection goes to auction
The Lonati motorcycle collection goes to auction

Perhaps the biggest and most impressive single-owner motorcycle collection is headed to the Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale in the UK in October.

The collection of 60 motorcycles, mainly Harley-Davidson, Indian, Pierce and Excelsior, comes from the Italian family of the late Tiberio Lonati, CEO of the Santoni Group.

“This is an incredibly rare find; 60 fantastic collectors’ motorcycles, all carefully stored in the Brescia based private museum of entrepreneur and CEO of the Santoni Group, Tiberio Lonati,” said Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles.

“Mr Lonati loved what motorcycles represent, ‘complete freedom’, the open road, something highly synonymous with US motorcycle marque, Harley-Davidson – which is perhaps why he had so many.”

Stored in a private museum of motorcycles, the prized collection celebrates American marques from across pivotal points in motorcycle manufacture. Highlights include a 1910 Pierce 688cc Four, estimated at £60,000-80,000, and a 1930 Indian 1265cc Model 402 Four-cylinder Combination (£40,000-50,000).

1920 Harley model J and 1910 Pierce Four, part of the The Lonati motorcycle collection
1920 Harley model J and 1910 Pierce Four

The Lonati Collection began with Tiberio’s son, Francesco, who has a great love for motorcycles. With his enthusiasm for the machines, coupled with knowledge of his father’s likes, Francesco Davidson WLA, now offered at estimate £14,000-18,000. This first motorcycle ignited a passion, and soon Mr. Lonati expanded to a vast 60 motorcycle collection, all housed in a private museum at the Santoni factory in Brescia, Italy.

The collection includes a variety of marques and models, including a 1916 Henderson 1,000cc Model F, estimate £30,000-40,000, pre-war great the 1911 Flying Merkel 500cc ‘Racer’, estimate £16,000-20,000, a 1920 Harley-Davidson Model J, estimate £18,000-24,000, and at one-hundred years old, the 1915 Thor 1,000cc Model U, estimate £28,000-25,000.

1942 Harley WLA and 1930 indian 402, part of the The Lonati motorcycle collection
1942 Harley WLA and 1930 indian 402

The Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale takes place on October 17-18 at The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Staffordshire County Showground. The Lonati Collection will be sold on Saturday 17.