World’s largest collection of BMW’s goes under the hammer

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The world’s largest collection of BMWs owned by one man will be sold in November.

Willy Neutkens, who died last year, amassed an astonishing collection of BMWs earning him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 for owning the most examples of a single make.

He owned more than 100 bikes – which is one of nearly every bike made by the German marque since it was founded in 1923. 

Every motorcycle in the collection has been painstakingly and lovingly restored by Willy with the help of BMW, which gave him access to its archives in Munich.

Highlights of the collection include early models such as the 1923 R32 (estimate £30,000-40,000), a pair of R42s dated 1926 and 1927 (£18,000-22,000 and £17,000-20,000 respectively) and a 1927 R47 (£20,000-25,000). Other noteworthy pre-war models include the 1930 R16 (£15,000-18,000) and the 1936 R17 (£12,000-16,000). 

Also on offer are wartime models, such as the 1942 and 1943 R75 Kriegselefant sidecar outfits painted in Afrika Korps colours, which are expected to achieve between £20,000-25,000 each.

Once owned – and raced – by Isle of Man TT-winning motorcycling legend Georg Meier, the 1953 R68 ISDT is estimated at £17,000-20,000.

Other post-war models include a 1966 R69S (£8,000-12,000), 1973 and 1975 R90S (£6,000-10,000 each) and the R100 Classic – last of the old-style twin cylinder ‘Boxers’ – which was presented to Neutkens by BMW and remains unused (£5,500-6,000.

The sale will take place at the BMW Museum in Munich on 28 November 2009. For more information visit

Laurs Kennerley

By Laurs Kennerley