Don’t judge a book by its cover. Especially when that book is a scrapyard.
One of the most incredible collections of vintage Indian motorcycles and memorabilia was recently discovered on the property of RJ&C Metal Fabricators in Phoenix, after its owner Rickey Jensen passed away.
There, in a locked shed behind the stacks of barrels, beams, random machinery and broken down cars were 15 Indian motorcycles, several of the brand’s bicycles and dozens of signs, clocks and promotional items.
According to Mecum Auctions, Jensen mostly kept it a secret, and only one or two other people had ever even known about it. But now the world does.
All of the bikes and most of the collection sold for well over $500,000 combined at the Mecum Las Vegas event on Thursday night, where it was the star of the show. But a few of the knickknacks are still available, including several Indian wall clocks and a Chief Scooting Star children’s scooter.
Among the treasures that found new homes were a rare 1908 Single Camelback that sold for $82,500, a 1929 Ace Four that went for $88,000 and a red and white 1941 Four that brought the hammer down at $71,500.
What’s been lost to history is how many years Jensen took to amass all of the items, and where he found things like boxes full of Indian letter openers, paperweights and belt buckles, not to mention three beverage urns, each worth thousands.