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Lot 235: Buddy Holly's 1958 Ariel Cyclone Motorcycle

Est: $100,000 USD - $1,000,000 USDPassed
Guernsey'sOctober 05, 2014Phoenix, AZ, US

Item Overview


Buddy Holly's original 1958 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle. This treasured item was a gift to Waylon Jennings in 1979 by members of Holly's original Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin and Jerry Allison on the occasion of his forty-second birthday. The story of how this iconic piece of Rock ?n' Roll history came to them and the role that it played in both Buddy's and Waylon's respective lives is nothing short of legendary. On May 13th, 1958, three young, very exhausted, and newly successful musicians found their way to Ray Miller's Motorcycle Shop in Dallas, Texas. They were at the forefront of creating a style of music that was rapidly redefining America's musical tastes, combining Country, Pop, Rockabilly, and Rhythm and Blues into a new sound all its own. Buddy Holly and the Crickets were new superstars at the dawn of Rock ?n' Roll. Having just returned home to Texas from a world tour, the trio set out to buy new motorcycles as presents for themselves to celebrate their hard work and good fortune. Upon landing in Dallas, they made a spur of the moment decision to skip their connecting flight home. They decided to each buy a motorcycle and drive back home. (Their love of Marlon Brando in "The Wild Ones" inspired their decision.) Taking a cab from Love Field into the city, they walked into a Harley Davidson dealership where they were shown the door by the proprietor who failed to recognize the young celebrities, thinking instead that they were bums. Their next stop was at Ray Miller's Triumph and Ariel Motorcycle shop. When they walked in, both the owner and his mechanic recognized them instantly, and they were given the royal treatment. Joe Maudlin, the Crickets' bass player, immediately fell in love with a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle and bought it. Jerry Allison, their drummer, bought a Triumph Trophy. Buddy Holly was transfixed by a dark red Ariel Cyclone 650cc in the showroom, and decided that it was the bike for him. That model, only built for that one year (1958) and with only a production number of 200, impressed Buddy as something very unique and special, and he knew that he had to own that bike. Buddy picked out the Ariel and they all paid in cash. Besides their new wheels, the trio purchased matching Levi jackets and peaked caps adorned with wings. Buddy, Joe, and Jerry rode the 350-mile trip home in a thunderstorm. The tragic event surrounding Buddy Holly's death has become known as "The Day the Music Died," a phrase borrowed from a lyric written by Don McLean in 1971 from his hit song, "American Pie." In this portion of his song, McLean referred to the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) on February 3, 1959. Buddy assembled a new band for his "Winter Dance Party Tour", consisting of Tommy Allsup on guitar, Carl Bunch on drums, and fellow West Texan and friend Waylon Jennings on bass. Buddy and Waylon had become the best of friends when they were both heavily involved in the music scenes of Lubbock and Littlefield, Texas some years before. Despite being a guitar player, Buddy gave Waylon two weeks to learn bass guitar and young Waylon accepted. . The tour was to run from January 23rd, 1959, beginning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was scheduled to end in Springfield, Illinois on February 15, 1959. By the time February 3rd had rolled around for the show held near Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy and the band were exhausted, cold from the bitter winter weather, and some were sick with the flu. They were all looking for some relief and any extra free time that they could manage. Buddy had decided to charter a small plane that night to get them to their next performance in Moorhead, Minnesota to escape the freezing tour bus. Waylon and Tommy Allsup were asked by Buddy to join him on the plane. Earlier that evening, The Big Bopper approached Waylon asking if he would possibly consider giving up his seat on the plane, as The Bopper had been sick, wrestling with the flu. Waylon told him that as long as it was okay with Buddy, it was okay with him. At the same time, Ritchie Valens was trying to make a similar arrangement with Tommy Allsup. The two flipped a coin, and Ritchie Valens won. Valens had now secured the remaining seat on the plane. Buddy teased Waylon, accusing him of being too scared to get on the plane. Waylon justified his decision saying he thought it best that The Big Bopper should go instead of him. Buddy then said to his friend, "Well, I hope your damn bus freezes up again," and Waylon snapped back, "Yeah, well I hope your ol' plane crashes." The next morning, the news poured in from every outlet: the plane had crashed in the snow. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and the pilot, Roger Peterson, were all dead. Waylon was devastated, and he actually believed in his heart that what he had said to Buddy the night before inadvertently caused the plane to crash. Waylon had lost his closest friend, and for years after carried with him the guilt that he was to blame. He gave up playing guitar and performing for two years, eventually leaving Texas for Arizona in hopes that he might find his way again. After Buddy's death, the Ariel motorcycle stayed with the Holly family. The bike was barely six months old when Buddy died, and his father kept the Ariel well-maintained in memory of his son. In 1970, the Holly family decided to sell the motorcycle, transferring ownership to Mr. W. Sanders of Dumas, Texas. Five years later, Mr. Sanders sold the Ariel to Joe Waggoner of Austin, Texas. (Joe Waggoner retained ownership of the motorcycle until June of 1979. He recounted, at that time, that the Ariel had barely over four thousand miles on it, and except for replacing the tires and new exhaust pipes, the motorcycle was totally original and untouched.) Mr. Waggoner decided to sell the Ariel after being approached by Jerry Allison, Joe Maudlin, and a third member of the Crickets, Sonny Curtis. They told Joe Waggoner that they wanted to buy Buddy's Ariel and give it to Waylon Jennings as a birthday present. Once again, fate played its hand and Buddy Holly's Ariel Cyclone found its way to Buddy's closest friend, Waylon Jennings, on his forty-second birthday. When Waylon returned to his hotel room after a show, he found the motorcycle sitting in the middle of his room. Recounting his reaction to the gift, Waylon said, "What else could I do? I swung my leg over the seat, stomped on the kick-starter, and it burst, roaring to life on the first kick. It was midnight and it sounded twice as loud as bouncing off the walls of the hotel room. I knew Buddy wouldn't mind!" This 1958 Ariel Cyclone with a high compression 650 cc headmaster engine bears engine number CNLF 4510, chassis number CAPR 1069. Waylon kept the motorcycle in the den of his Brentwood, Tennessee home lovingly nicknamed "Southern Comfort." It was always a conversation piece, as well as a surprise to those seeing it for the first time. People were shocked, and often exclaimed, "You've got a motorcycle in your house!" The Ariel remains beautifully preserved and symbolic of a pivotal time in American music history, still with just over four thousand original miles and not having been ridden for over twenty years. <br

Payment & Shipping

Accepted forms of payment: Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Wire Transfer


You can authorize any shipper of your choosing to take possession of your items and deliver them to you. Shipping and Handling charges will apply. See our Terms & Conditions for important shipping and handling information. Please contact Guernsey's with any questions regarding shipping. 212-794-2280

Auction Details

Remembering Waylon

October 05, 2014, 01:00 PM PST

Musical Instrument Museum 4725 E. Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ, 85050, US


Buyer's Premium


Bidding Increments


Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

This catalogue, as amended by any posted notices during the sale, together with the purchaser's registration statement, is Guernsey's and the Consigner's entire agreement with the purchaser relative to the property listed herein. The following conditions of sale are the only terms and conditions by which all properties are offered for sale. The property will be offered by us as the agent for the Consigner unless the catalogue indicates otherwise. By bidding at auction, whether present in person or by agent, by written bid, telephone, internet or by other means, the buyer agrees to be bound by these Conditions of Sale.

1. All properties are sold as is, and neither we nor the Consigner make any warranties or representations with respect to any lot sold including but not limited to the correctness of the catalogue or other description of the origin, physical condition, size, quality, rarity, attribution, authorship, importance, medium, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property, and no statement anywhere, whether oral or written, shall be deemed such a warranty or representation. All sizes listed are approximate and listed in inches as well as centimeters, unless otherwise specified. Prospective bidders should inspect the property before bidding to determine its condition, size, and whether or not it has been repaired or restored. WE AND THE CONSIGNOR DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTIES ARE MADE THAT ANY OF THE MERCHANDISE COMPLIES WITH ANY APPLICABLE GOVERNMENTAL RULES, REGULATIONS OR ORDINANCES OF ANY KIND OR NATURE WHATSOEVER. Neither Guernsey's as agent nor the Consigner is responsible for any faults or defects in any lot or the correctness of any statement as to the authorship of any origin, authorship, date, age, attribution, genuineness, provenance or condition of any lot.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Information regarding condition can be requested prior to the auction by contacting Guernsey's by email ([email protected]) or by telephone (212-794-2280). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact.

2. A buyer's premium will be added to the purchase of all lots in the sale, and is payable by the purchaser as part of the total purchase price. The buyer's premium for bidders participating in the auction in person or in absentia, either on the telephone or by submitting written bids in advance, is 22%. The buyer's premium for internet bidders is 25%. Guernsey's also receives a commission directly from the Consignor.

3. We reserve the right to withdraw any property before the sale.

4. Unless otherwise announced by the auctioneer, all bids are per lot as numbered in the catalogue.

5. All bids placed, and all payments made must be in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. Bank.

6. Payments are due promptly at the conclusion of the auction, and in the case of absentee and internet bidders, within 10 days of receipt of invoice.

7. We reserve the right to reject any bid. The highest bidder, acknowledged by the auctioneer, will be the purchaser. In the event of a dispute between bidders, or in the event of doubt on our part as to the validity of any bid, the auctioneer will have the final discretion whether to determine the successful bidder or to re-offer and resell the article in dispute. If any dispute arises after the sale, our sale records are conclusive. Although in our discretion, we will execute other order bids or accept telephone bids as a convenience to clients who are not present at auctions, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions in connection therewith.

8. If the auctioneer decides that any opening bid is below the value of the article offered, he or she may reject the same and withdraw the article from sale, and if having acknowledged on opening bid, he or she decides that any advance thereafter is insufficient, he or she may reject the advance.

9. Some of the lots in this auction may be offered subject to a reserve, which is the confidential minimum price below which such a lot will not be sold. We may implement such reserves by bidding on behalf of the Consignor. In certain instances the Consignor may pay us less than the standard commission rate where a lot is "bought in" to protect its reserve. Where the Consignor is indebted to us or has a monetary guarantee from us, and in certain other instances where we or any affiliated companies may have an interest in the offered lots and the proceeds there from other than our commission, we may bid therefore to protect such interests. Guernsey's may act to protect the reserve by bidding through the auctioneer. The auctioneer may open bidding on any lot below the reserve by placing a bid on behalf of the seller. The auctioneer may continue to bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve either by placing consecutive bids or by placing bids in response to other bidders

10. On the fall of the auctioneer's hammer, title to the offered lot will pass to the highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer, subject to fulfillment by such bidder, of all the conditions set forth herein, and such bidder thereupon a) assumes full risk and responsibility thereof, but not limited to, insurance, fire, theft, removal and storage or damage from any and all causes, and b) will pay the full purchase price thereof or such part as we may require. In addition to other remedies available to us by law, we reserve the right to impose a late charge of 1 1/2% per month of the total purchase price if payment is not made in accordance with the conditions set forth herein. REGARDING ANY PURCHASER WHO IS REPRESENTED BY A BIDDER: BIDDERS ARE PERSONALLY AND INDIVIDUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OBLIGATIONS OF THE PURCHASER SET FORTH IN THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE. If any applicable conditions herein are not complied with by the purchaser, in addition to other remedies available to us and the Consigner by law, including, without limitation, the right to hold the purchaser liable for the total purchase price, we at our option may either, a) cancel the sale, retaining as liquidated damages all payments made by the purchaser, or b) resell the property at public auction without reserve, and the purchaser will be liable for any deficiency costs including handling charges, the expenses of both sales, our commissions on both sales at our regular rates, reasonable attorney's fees, incidental damages, and all other charges due hereunder. In the event that such a buyer pays a portion of the purchase price for any or all lots purchased, Guernsey's shall apply the payment received to such lot or lots that Guernsey's, in its sole discretion deems appropriate. In the case of default, purchaser shall be liable for legal fees and expenses. In addition, a defaulting purchaser will be deemed to have granted us a security interest in, and we may retain as collateral security for such purchaser's obligations to us, any property in our possession owned by such purchaser. We shall have the rights afforded a secured party under the New York Uniform Commercial Code with respect to such property and we may apply against such obligations all monies held or received by us for the account of, due from us to, such purchaser. At our option, payment will not be deemed to have been made in full until we have collected funds represented by checks, or, in the case of bank or cashier's checks, we have confirmed their authenticity. Upon collection of funds, purchaser shall receive a bill of sale for the concerned items of merchandise.

11. Unless exempted by law, the purchaser will be required to pay New York state and local sales tax or any applicable compensating use tax of another state on the total purchase price. Deliveries outside the state may be subject to the compensating use tax of another state. Where duty or collection is imposed on Guernsey's by law, it will require payment of these taxes.

12. These Terms and Conditions of Sale as well as the purchaser's and our respective rights and obligations thereunder shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of New York. By bidding at an auction, whether present in person or by agent, order bid, telephone or by other means, the purchaser shall be deemed to have consented to the exclusive jurisdiction of the State of New York, with exclusive venue in the County of New York.

13. We are not responsible for the act or omissions of carriers or packers of purchased lots, whether or not recommended by us. Packing and handling of purchased lots by us is at the entire risk of the purchaser. In no event will our liability to a purchaser exceed the purchase price actually paid.

14. Estimates do not represent any opinion or guarantee of actual value or ultimate sale price. Actual prices realized for items can fall below or above this range. They should not be relied upon as a prediction or guarantee of the actual selling price. They are prepared well in advance of the sale and are subject to revision.

15. Should any disputes arise pertaining to purchases at this auction or any other matters relating to the auction, such disputes shall be brought in the courts of the State of New York. Venue shall be within the County of New York.

16. Any claim regarding a purchase must be made by the successful bidder to Guernsey's, in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested, within 90 days of the final day of the live auction. Thereafter, all claims shall be time-barred. It is Guernsey's general policy, and Guernsey's has the right to have the purchaser obtain, at the purchaser's expense, the opinion of two recognized experts in the field, mutually agreeable to Guernsey's and the purchaser.

17. The copyrights in and to the items depicted in this catalogue, and the rights of publicity to the names, images and likenesses of persons or items depicted in this catalogue, are exclusively owned by the Consignor of the property or third parties. A BUYER OF AN ITEM OFFERED FOR SALE DOES NOT ACQUIRE ANY COPYRIGHT, COMMERCIAL RIGHT, OR SIMILAR RIGHT WHATSOEVER TO THE ITEMS OR THE IMAGES OR LIKENESSES CONTAINED THEREIN AND THE BUYER MAY NOT REPRODUCE ANY ITEM PURCHASED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. No copies or photographs, catalogue descriptions or other written material in this catalogue may be reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

Participating In the Auction

Bidding & Pre-establishing Credit In an effort to facilitate your rapid removal of items immediately following the auction, you can pre-establish credit with Guernsey's. Having done so, you need only write a check for the amount of your purchase (assuming it is within the range of your credit line) and you can remove your purchases. The easiest way to accomplish establishing credit is to provide an Irrevocable Letter of Credit or a Bank Letter of Guarantee from your bank stating that they will guarantee your check up to an indicated amount. Such letters normally have a time limit and therefore, for this auction, a 14 business day limit from the day of the auction would be appropriate. The bank letter should include the bank officer's name and telephone number and should state that the letter is for Guernsey's Waylon Jennings Auction on October 5, 2014. The letter should be addressed to Barbara Mintz, Vice President of Guernsey's, and indicate the limit to which the checks can be written.

You Can Bid at this Auction without Pre-Establishing Credit
Without pre-establishing credit, unless you pay with cash or bank check or certified check, your purchases will be held until your personal check clears (usually about 10 business days). In such cases you may be responsible for shipping and handling costs. (Please see Removal/Shipment of Purchases.)

Absentee Bidding
Although all are welcome to attend the auction in person, it is clear that some may wish to participate as Absentee Bidders. To facilitate absentee bidding, one may bid by filling out the Absentee Bid Form (on page 227 of the printed catalogue; also available for download at www.guernseys.com) and mail or fax the form to Guernsey's prior to the auction. One can also bid by telephone during the actual auction by contacting Guernsey's well in advance of the auction dates to arrange for this method of bidding.

Shipping, handling and insurance for all absentee bid items are the responsibility of the wining bidder. Bidding increments are at the discretion of the auctioneer. In the case of tie bids the first bid received will be given priority.

Absentee bidder invoices will be sent promptly by mail and must be paid in full within 10 days of receipt. Invoices to Internet bidders will be sent promptly by email and must be paid in full within 10 days of receipt.

Absentee Bid Form Instructions
1. Fill out the Absentee Bid Form included in the catalogue or download a copy from our website.

2. Indicate if you wish to Bid By Phone or Bid By Mail. If you wish to Bid By Phone, be sure to provide the phone number where you can be reached during the auction. Phone bids will be executed by Guernsey's telephoning the bidder on the indicated lots as they are sold at the live auction. Please return the form early to reserve a phone, as a limited number of lines are available per lot on a first come basis.

3. All Top Bid Amounts must be indicated in U.S. dollars. If you wish to Bid By Mail, you must indicate a Top Bid Amount. If you wish to Bid By Phone we encourage you to indicate a Top Bid Amount. Although we will make every reasonable effort to telephone you at the appropriate time during the auction, our experience indicates that there is always the possibility that for a variety of technical (and human) reasons we may not be able to reach you at that time. In the event that were to occur, to avoid disappointment, WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU INDICATE YOUR TOP BID IN THE SPACE PROVIDED AFTER CHECKING THE BOX AUTHORIZING GUERNSEY'S TO EXECUTE YOUR BIDS UP TO THE LEVEL INDICATED.

4. Please print clearly and list all lots in numerical order. Use multiple forms, if needed.

5. Sign and date the form.

Internet Bidding
Those who are unable to attend the auction but would like to participate can view the full catalogue online, and leave advance absentee bids, as well as bid live as the sale is taking place at www.Liveauctioneers.com, www.invaluable.com, and www.Proxibid.com. For further information, please visit Guernsey's website, Liveauctioneers.com or Proxibid.com or Invaluable.com. Links from the Guernsey's website to these sites will be available approximately one month before the event. Lots in this catalogue and in the addendum to this catalogue can be bid on through Liveauctioneers.com or Proxibid.com prior to - and during - the live auction, provided that the bidder has completed the Liveauctioneers, Proxibid or Invaluable application process and been approved for bidding.

Removal/Shipment of Purchases

PURCHASERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SHIPPING AND PACKING COSTS. All pick-ups must be made immediately following the auction, unless other arrangements are made with Guernsey's. Inasmuch as Guernsey's does not permanently reside at the Museum of Musical Instruments (the auction site), it is essential that all items are either 1) paid for immediately at the conclusion of the auction (items can be paid for and removed at any time during the event) and immediately removed or 2) paid for immediately, making arrangements for the removal of the items by your designated shipper and alerting Guernsey's of your intent.

In order for bidders to remove their purchases, payment must be made in cleared funds, i.e. cash, cashier's or official bank check, or wire transfer, unless credit has been established by furnishing a Bank Letter of Guarantee to Guernsey's prior to the auction. Bidders who have pre-established credit will be able to make payment with personal checks and remove their purchases at the conclusion of the auction.

Any auction lots that have not been picked up by successful bidders by Monday, October 6, will be transferred to secure storage from where shipment can be arranged after payment has been received by Guernsey's, and after allowing time for personal checks to clear.

Purchasers are responsible for all shipping costs. In some cases, there may be savings of sales tax by the use of a recognized, licensed transport company. Should you wish to learn more about your shipping options, please contact Guernsey's prior to the auction.

Removal of Purchases Acquired Through Absentee, Phone & Internet Bidding

If you are a successful absentee, phone or internet bidder, and unless you have notified Guernsey's of your intention to pay for and pick up your purchases at MIM on or before October 6, your purchases will be removed and transferred to a storage facility. They will be held until you have made payment, at which time your purchases can be released for shipment.

Although Guernsey's is not in the shipping business, and unable to provide packing and shipping services, we will do our best to assist you with coordinating arrangements with your preferred shipper. Please feel free to call Guernsey's in advance if you have any questions regarding your shipping options.

If you are a successful Internet or Absentee Bidder….

1. You will receive an invoice by email following the auction. If you believe you are a successful bidder and don't receive an invoice, please contact Guernsey's (212-794-2280; [email protected])

2. Payment is due promptly and within 10 days of receipt of invoice.

3. Purchases paid for by wire transfer, bank or cashier's check will be available for release immediately.

4. Purchases paid for by personal or business check will be held until the check has cleared (please allow up to 10 business days from receipt of payment).

5. When purchases are available for release you will be contacted by Guernsey's to discuss shipping. We will do our best to assist you by overseeing pick-up, packing and shipment by a shipper of your choice.

6. Purchasers are responsible for all shipping costs. In some cases, there may be savings of sales tax by the use of a recognized, licensed transport company. Should you wish to learn more about your shipping options, please contact Guernsey's prior to the auction.

Shipping Terms

You can authorize any shipper of your choosing to take possession of your items and deliver them to you. Shipping and Handling charges will apply. See our Terms & Conditions for important shipping and handling information. Please contact Guernsey's with any questions regarding shipping. 212-794-2280

Taxes Terms

New York residents only. NY Sales Tax: 8.875%