The No. 6 Mystery Ship, one of just 10 of the special machines built by AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Craig Vetter in 1980, sold at the Bonhams auction at Caesar’s Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas on Jan. 23, 2020, for $55,200.
While that’s a lot of cash, the Mystery Ship wasn’t the highest selling machine. That honors goes to a 1949 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series C that sold for $97,750. The lowest priced bike that went home with a lucky bidder in the auction was a 1972 Yamaha 100cc LS2 two-stroke street bike that sold for $575.
The No. 6 Mystery Ship (photo courtesy of Bonhams) is very special because it is one of only two turbocharged Mystery Ships ever built. The turbocharging reported boosted the horsepower of the 1,015cc machine by 40 percent. When auctioned, the bike had 2 miles on the odometer.
Another turbocharged machine, a 1978 Kawasaki Z1R TC, sold at the auction for $20,125. It’s one of the turbocharged machines produced by the major motorcycle manufacturers for a short period of time. The heavy, ill-handling machines never really caught on with the public. Powered by a 1,016cc, air-cooled, turbocharged, double-overhead-cam inline four engine, this bike produced a claimed 130 horsepower at 8,500 rpm.
A 1970 Triumph 650cc T120R Bonneville sold for $15,525. Considered a classic café racer, this Bonneville was restored to factory specs.
A 1974 Honda CB750 K4 with more than 29,000 miles on the odometer sold for $5,175. When the Honda CB750 Four was introduced in 1969 it was revolutionary. It had four cylinders, four megaphone exhausts, a disc front brake, an overhead camshaft and amazing fit and finish. Honda engineers realized that several low-mass, smaller pistons could move faster than a few heavy ones, turning increased RPMs into more power.
For more information on the auction results, go to www.Bonhams.com/Vegas.