A Steve McQueen motorbike that was part of the actor’s love affair with fast machines is going on sale.
The late actor’s bike will be put up for auction as part of the International Classic MotorCycle Show at Bonham’s at the end of April.
The Steve McQueen motorbike is a part of automotive history as well as movie fame. The 1914 Indian Model F is an early example of a board-riding motorbike, an all-purpose motorcycle that lacked a clutch, throttle, and brakes. These early bikes were push-started and run flat-out.
McQueen was a motorcycle and race car enthusiast who often performed his own high-speed stunts in his films.
He had memorable car chases in the movie Bullitt and a famous motorcycle run in The Great Escape, which depicted a POW escape from the Stalag Luft III camp during World War II.
Though Steve McQueen often rode a motorbike himself in movies, insurers wouldn’t allow him to perform the famous motorcycle leap in The Great Escape. His stuntman friend, who looked a bit like McQueen, did the jump instead.
Steve McQueen’s items have fetched a high price at auction before. In July a watch he wore in the movie Le Mans fetched nearly $800,000 at a film memorabilia auction in Los Angeles
The McQueen watch, a Heuer wrist watch that he wore in the 1971 action movie, sold for $799,500.
McQueen’s watch blazed a new kind of style among racers. The movie, which is set in Monaco and focuses on 24 hours of the Le Mans car race, helped the watch become a favorite of motor racing drivers and fans around the world.
The Tag Heuer Monaco has a black alligator skin strap along with a stylish retro-style blue face. The McQueen watch was a bit of a groundbreaker, too. It was the first ever automatic and square cased chronograph watch.
The Steve McQueen motorbike is expected to get between $33,000 and $42,000 at auction.