McQueen takes top billing at MidAmerica’s Vegas sale

This Indian Four was purchased in 1984 at the Steve McQueen Estate Auction. Seller’s father enjoyed and rode this bike for many years. Unrestored – looks and runs great.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — MidAmerica Auctions, the world’s largest seller of antique motorcycles, will host the 21st Annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction and Races Jan. 12-14, 2012, at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

500 antique and classic motorcycles will be up for auction, including three motorcycles owned by legendary actor and biking enthusiast, Steve McQueen. Serving as guest of honor is his widow, Barbara McQueen, who will share memories of her famous husband and sign copies of “Steve McQueen: The Last Mile.” Joining her will be McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill, who will sign copies of his 2010 book, “Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool.”

Barbara McQueen’s photographs record a behind-the-scenes life of personal pleasures and enthusiasms. They include hitting the road in Steve’s pickup trucks, visiting collectors’ shows and swap meets, driving 700 miles to view a rare World War I motorcycle, flying a vintage mail plane, and generally ducking out of Hollywood life. But when work did call, Barbara was also on hand to capture marvelous candid shots on the sets ofMcQueen’s two last films, “Tom Horn” and “The Hunter.”

The life and career of Steve McQueen is a classic example of the American dream made real: of a small town boy from a broken home triumphing over adversity to become one of the richest and most sought-after superstars in the world. McQueen lived every day as if it were his last, and by doing so, he lived an extraordinary life, both on screen and off.

Barbara McQueen’s “Steve McQueen: The Last Mile” tells the story of a simple love affair with life. Barbara, who had carved a very successful career for herself as a fashion model, met Steve McQueen in 1977. Together for less than four years, these rare and private photographs share Steve’s rugged, blue-eyed features him in a relaxed and uninhibited setting, doing the things he loved. Barbara’s photographs show a tough guy at peace but who retained an inner strength. In one particularly striking shot his hair is wild, his beard thick, and unkempt, and he is looking over his shoulder with a troubled vulnerability. Barbara catches him unaware perhaps in a deeply pensive mood.

This 1938 Triumph Speed Twin was restored for Steve McQueen by his long time friend and racing buddy Bud Ekins at Bud’s shop in North Hollywood, California. Bud’s shop sticker is still displayed on the motorcycle. It was then sold at the Steve McQueen Estate Auction, Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino November 24-25, 1984. This documented motorcycle has the heritage of both Steve and Bud and is an important part of motorcycle history for decades to come.

MidAmerica Auctions have on display and for sale McQueen’s Husqvarna, which he rode for the cover of the Aug. 23, 1971, issue of Sports Illustrated as documented by factory and dealer bills of sale. Also available for auction will be two other Steve McQueen motorcycles ­a 1938 Triumph Speed Twin and a 1940 Indian Four Cylinder. A 1970 Bell motorcycle helmet that was owned by McQueen will also be auctioned.

Barbara McQueen will be at the opening event dinner on Jan. 12 and available through Jan. 14 to sign books and greet fans.

Event Schedule for 21st Annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction:

Thursday, Jan. 12, 5 p.m. Children’s Hospital Benefit Dinner Auction featuring Barbara McQueen as guest of honor; 6 p.m. auction; 6 to 10 p.m. auction of 75 premium vintage and collectible motorcycles.

Friday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., auction of 200 vintage and collectible motorcycles; 7 p.m. Champion Indoor Short Flat Track Series.

Saturday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. auction of 225 vintage and collectible motorcycles; 7:30 p.m. Championship Indoor Short Track Flat Track Series.

Visit www.MidAmericaAuctions.com for more information.

 

Motorcycle Resources:

Check out The Comprehensive Vintage Motorcycle Price Guide 2011/2012 Edition compiled by The Vintage Japanese and European Motorcycle Club.

For more titles, check out our Motorcycle section at ShopOldCarsWeekly.com.

 

 

COMMENT