For one day, a long-gone Bennington motorcycle shop will be reborn in Rutland.
Motorcycles, parts, gear and memorabilia from Ed Flynn’s long-closed Indian dealership go up for auction at the Vermont State Fairgrounds Aug. 14.
Yvette VanDerBrink, who will organize the auction for VanDerBrink Auctions, said Flynn ran a well-known motorcycle dealership for years. Upon his death, VanDerBrink said, family friend Bob Bearor took care of Flynn’s widow in exchange for the remaining inventory, which he took to his farm in Chittenden. Bearor, himself an avid motorcyclist, died in 2019, leaving behind a huge collection of vehicles and parts.
“We went into a chicken house, we started emptying it and found 15 bikes in there,” she said.
The 318 items up for auction aren’t all related to motorcycles and didn’t all originate at Flynn’s shop. Other pieces include Bearor’s old apple grinder and press and a collection of vintage fishing lures. Yvette said there were five antique tractors and several vintage race cars.
VanDerBrink called the collection one of the “most unique” assemblages for motorcycles she’s seen.
“These big collections like this are getting few and far between,” she said. “This has some really rare bikes and parts in it. We have a lot of four-cylinder Indian pieces — 1938-40 Indian stuff. We have Indian parts and Harley parts, some of them going back to 1908.”
One lot includes some particularly rare accessories — rim covers that owners would paint advertisements on.
“When you’d ride your bike, you’d have moving billboards,” VanDerBrink said. “The guys couldn’t believe it because the guys have only seen them in books.”
VanDerBrink said one the motorcycle experts brought in to help evaluate the collection even commented that some of the items reminded him of Flynn’s shop before learning that was the collection’s origin.
“The four guys working with us — they couldn’t believe it because they’ve always hears about (Flynn) because he was a legend and here was his stuff,” VanDerBrink said.
VanDerBrink said they will start moving items to the fairgrounds Aug. 7. Visit vanderbrinkauctions.com to find the full catalog online.