1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank
Update: After the E.J Cole Collection Auction on the weekend, the Harley Davidson Strap Tank became the 2nd most expensive bike in the world. Being sold for a coll $715,000. Wow.
We don’t feature many motorbikes here at Average Joes, so when we do we like to make sure they’re extremely special. With that in mind, feast your eyes on this 1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank complete with the original paint work is considered by many to be the best unrestored Harley-Davidson Strap Tank example in the world!
It’s going up for auction this weekend in Las Vegas at South Point Casino through Mecum Auctions and it’s truly one of a kind.
The three Davidson brothers, plus William Harley, weren’t bicycle racing champs or trained engineers like their competitors in the pioneering days of motorcycling. But they knew a good idea when they saw it, and set about building a motorcycle in 1901. By 1904, their second attempt at a build resulted in the first recorded appearance of a Harley-Davidson in a competitive race in Milwaukee.
In 1905, the budding factory in a small Milwaukee shed built five machines, and began advertising engines for sale in The Automobile and The Cycle Trade Journal, and by 1906, 50 bikes had been built and these first models are known as the ‘strap tank’- so called because of the nickel-plated steel bands suspending the fuel and oil tanks from the frame. This 1907 Harley-Davidson was one of the first 207 machines built and displays a V-twin prototype. The rest, as they say, is history.
The serial number is #2037 and suggests that it’s the 37th Harley-Davidson built in 1907, making it their 94th machine ever built, including the two prototypes. This Harley is widely considered the best unrestored ‘strap tank’ in the world and was purchased from the Leo Bongers estate auction in David City, Nebraska, in January 1993.
The 1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank will be auctioned at the South Point Casino on Last Vegas Boulevard and estimated to go for around $800,000 – $1,000,000. The auction begins this Friday 20th March so you’ll need to get to Vegas quickly or at least get your minion there in time if you want a piece of automotive history! Full details of the auction and the bike are available here.