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October 28, 2013

Early H-D models to be auctioned

Photo: Bonham's

1950 Harley-Davidson to be among Pierce collection at Las Vegas auction.

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Includes 10th Sportster from ‘57
A number of early model-year Harley-Davidsons will be auctioned at the Balley’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Jan. 9 by the Bonhams auction firm.

What Bonhams says is “believed to be the 10th XL883 produced in 1957” will be among the motorcycles on the block. The ’57 Sportster was built in 1957, the model’s first year.

Also, a 1933 VLE police bike that was used by Chicago police and later shown in the film “The Untouchables,” and an unrestored ’47 Knucklehead with some contemporary accessories will be auctioned.

The motorcycles come from the Wayne Pierce family collection. Wayne Pierce, known as “Pappy,” opened a Harley-Davidson dealership in DeKalb, Illinois, the same year that the first Sportster was built. A few years later he added the Triumph motorcycle line to his shop, and several Triumphs are included among the 50 or so motorcycles from that collection in the auction.

Pierce eventually turned the family business over to his son Wayne Jr., but continued to spend time at the shop until he died in 2008. Pierce Harley-Davidson was sold two years ago.

Other motorcycles to be put on the auction block a 1940 EL, a ’47 FL, a ’26 JD with side car, a ’33 VLE, a ’56 KHRM, and a ’63 FL “Panhead.”