WATCH: Extremely Rare Wisconsin 1908 Harley-Davidson Earns Record Auction Bid
History was recently made at a Las Vegas auction when an extremely rare 115-year-old Harley-Davidson sold for a record amount.
The bike that was auctioned through Mecum Auctions was a 1908 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank, earning its name because of the nickel-plated steel bands suspending the fuel and oil tanks from the frame.
Mecum Auctions notes that in terms of Harley-Davidson's history, the legendary Strap Tank is the most important model. They are the first of the breed and the earliest Harley-Davidson model that anyone will ever find. All prototypes that preceded the Strap Tank are long gone.
This particular Harley-Davidson Strap Tank is among the oldest surviving models of this extremely rare breed. In fact, of the 450 motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson in 1908, less than a dozen are thought to have survived, there are even fewer to be found that are still in as correct condition as this one.
This Harley-Davidson made its way to the January 28 Las Vegas auction from Wisconsin. It was discovered in 1941 as a complete motorcycle in a Wisconsin barn, about 70 miles from Milwaukee, by David Uihlein. He then kept it in his possession for the next 66 years.
Ultimately, it was expertly restored by Paul Freehill of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the historic motorcycle still retains most of its original parts, including the tank, wheels, engine belt pulley, seat cover, and muffler sleeve.
Therefore, the stage was set for this extremely rare Harley-Davidson to draw a lot of interest and a lot of big bids when it went up for auction. Once that magic moment finally arrived, it made history.
Watch as the Wisconsin-based 1908 Strap Tank sells for a record $935,000, including all fees.
While the total paid was nearly $1 million, something tells me the proud new owner feels it's worth every single penny.