Steve McQueen Motorbike Up for Auction: Estimated Value $40,000

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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
April 9, 2013|8:56 am

A vintage Indian once owned by the Hollywood daredevil Steve McQueen will go up for auction later this month.

Nicknamed the "King of Cool," Steve McQueen was in high demand as an actor during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Known for his daredevil antics and need for speed, he played in multiple roles and was nominated for an Academy Award for "The Sand Pebbles."

One of the first bikes owned by the stunt man, a 1914 Indian Model F, will go up for auction at the Classic Motor Cycle Show in Manchester, U.K. on April 28. Expected to bring in upwards of $40,000 according to Yahoo, the bike is worth far more than most Indian models. The late McQueen's bike has recently undergone a full transformation.

Indian motorcycles were manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Massachusetts. Indian was the largest manufacturer of bikes in the world in the 1910s but the company eventually went bankrupt in the 50s. The Model F is one of 242 motorcycles that will go up for auction at the end of the month and while not the most prestigious, its papers, which include Steve McQueen's name, add value.

The Model F could travel at up to 100 mph but had no break or clutch. The only way for a driver to end a race on such a model was to cut off the ignition. The bike was designed for wooden tracks during a time when actual motorcycle racing tracks did not yet exist.

"The men who raced these early board-track motorcycles were not only pioneers and champions of early motor racing but must also have been incredibly brave," Ben Walker, head of Bonhams' motorcycle department who is hosting the auction, told The Wall Street Journal. "In this age of health and safety the idea of riding at up to 100 mph with no helmet or protective clothing, knowing you have no way of stopping in a hurry, is a terrifying thought."

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