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Stolen motorcycles alert – rare Winchester, early Harley-Davidson pilfered
Hagerty Insurance’s Twitter account reports that two collector motorcycles were stolen from a single owner in the Turlock, California, area on September 24, including an ultra-rare (and hence, ultra-valuable) 1909 Winchester model and a 1912 Harley-Davidson.
All of the 200 Winchester bikes built were manufactured in San Francisco by the Edwin Merry Bicycle Company. The stolen 1909 Winchester, red in color, is equipped with a 4-hp Marsh-Metz single-cylinder engine and is believed to be one of only two remaining from the original 200 Winchesters built between 1909 and 1911. The bike was offered at the August 2013 Worldwide Auction in Auburn along with a blue 1910 Winchester; neither motorcycle was sold. Bidding for the 1909 Winchester reached $520,000, yet still failed to meet the bike’s reserve price.
The 1910 model was displayed on loan to the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in 2012, and, following the 2013 Auburn auction, changed hands in a private transaction for a reported $580,000. Because this was a private sale, it did not make The Vintagent’s top sales at auction list. Both Winchesters were again offered at a firearms auction in March of 2015 by James D. Julia; however, no details could be found on whether either bike sold. Certainly the location of the theft leads us to believe the red 1909 model was still available for purchase from the last known owner at the time it was stolen.
At the same time, a 1912 Harley-Davidson Model X8A with a 30 cubic inch, single-cylinder engine, belt-drive and pedal-start was also taken.
The theft could well rank as one of the top motorcycle heists of all time, and any information can be forwarded to Hagerty Insurance at Stolen@Hagerty.com.