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Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels

03/14/2020
Now that's love for classic motorcycles, Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels, VENTOS, VENTOS

The world of auctions moves huge amounts of money and not only are classic cars very popular, but old motorcycles do the same and there are those capable of paying anything for what is undoubtedly a collector’s item.

In this case there are four interesting frames, the most expensive auctioned by Mecum Auctions last year and which were born before the beginning of the fateful Second World War. All of them are the work of the manufacturer Al Crocker, who can boast of having worked previously in brands such as Thor and Indian, and were auctioned throughout the year 2019 in events as important as those of Las Vegas and Monterey.

4 – The Crocker Small Tank 61-25 of 1937 reached 389,916 euros

Now that's love for classic motorcycles, Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels, VENTOS, VENTOS

During the popular auction held in Las Vegas in 2019, Mecum Auctions brought this Crocker Small Tank 61-25 from the year 1937. The unit was sold completely restored to the manufacturer’s standards, which allowed a considerable sum to be achieved, although far from the other three Crockers ahead of it in this classification.


Al Crocker’s bikes were handcrafted pieces in which customers could ask for different configurations, as in the adjustment of the v-twin engine that the architect, from which his creations took their name, made by hand thanks to a very original design in which he had worked with Paul Bigsby. In general, as in this case, they were 1000 cc blocks, although there were those who asked for much larger ones to boast of having one of the fastest bikes of the moment.

This collector’s item made his current proud client pay 389,916 euros for it.

3- This 1939 Crocket Big Tank was sold in Las Vegas for 648,172 euros

Also at the American event, a Crocket Big Tank from 1939 was purchased, a beautiful custom motorcycle painted in black and silver and restored by the hands of expert Michael Weigert.

This Crocket has a very ‘American’ style and is the only one of the four with the particularity of the ‘Big Tank’, instead of the ‘Small Tank’ of the other three.

Now that's love for classic motorcycles, Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels, VENTOS, VENTOS

On this bike with a 1000 cc v-twin engine, they achieved an output of 61 hp and a top speed of 177 km/h. The frame was so fast that the manufacturer promised to give a full refund to anyone who found a faster Harley-Davidson or Indian as standard. This part was auctioned for a total of 648,172 euros.

2 – Another 1937 Crocker Small Tank surpassed the previous one with a bid of 658,300 euros

Now that's love for classic motorcycles, Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels, VENTOS, VENTOS

Months after the Las Vegas event, the Monterey event was held, an event that is also very popular and where the 1937 Crocker Small Tank in the photo sold for just under twice as much as the 61-25 Small Tank.

This unit was completely restored in 2013 by engineers Les and Jolly from the 1346Venice workshop. The clutch of this 1000hp air-cooled v-twin engine was revised to make it more enjoyable to ride and its appearance bears a close resemblance to the 1939 one that was auctioned in Las Vegas.

Somewhat older than the Big Tank, this bike lowered the hammer at 658,300 euros.

1 – The 1936 Crocker Small Tank was the ‘crown jewel’ at a price of 759,577 euros

Now that's love for classic motorcycles, Now that’s love for classic motorcycles: 2.5 million euros for four pre-war jewels, VENTOS, VENTOS

Finally, at the top of this table we have the 1936 Crocker Small Tank, precisely one of the first 14 bikes manufactured by Paul Bigsby and Al Crocker. This piece is number 12 in the history of the brand and appeared in Monterey by the hand of Mecum Auctions and in the original state of preservation. In fact, it could be the only one in the world that has not been restored.

The unit we are concerned with has a 1000 cc engine block, although customers could order the propeller with a capacity of up to 1638 cc. No one would say that 84 years have passed since this bike left Al’s workshop, because it looks pretty decent for the ‘times’ it has survived. That’s why it was taken away in Monterey for a cost of 759,577 euros, a price according to experts’ estimates and which its new owner would be happy to pay.