Steve McQueen’s first Husqvarna wins $ 204,000 at auction

This year is 1968. Actor legend and motorcycle enthusiast Steve McQueen visits the Southern California motocross race series, sees Swedish racer Bengt Aberg tearing the track, catching a little ace Mojo and himself a faster rider I hope to be. McQueen noticed that Husqvarna ‘360 Viking’ Aberg was using it to slice and diced the competition, and on the spot, of course, decided that he had to be a bike with the rider, and Aberg went into the field. Allows you to control. He buys it on the fly and adds it to his collection of bikes, which is said to be near 200 machines. Aberg finished the season in another Husqvarna and won the 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1969 and 1970.

Photo: RM Sotheby’s

Fast forward for more than half a century. McQueen, who died in 1980, is gone. However, Husk Varna, once the Swedish champion, has changed from collector to collector and still exists. And the fact that McQueen bought it, rode it, and loved it enough to burn an obsession with the Swedish brand means it’s one precious dirt bike. In fact, it’s so valuable that it sold for $ 204,000 at the Sotheby’s auction on August 13th in Monterey.

Steve McQueen's first Husqvarna for sale
Photo: Stan Evans

It’s an iconic husky dirt bike: a yellow license plate, a polished silver oval red tank, a stuffed seat, a silver frame, a polished front fender and shock cover, and a straight back exhaust. Perhaps it’s not as famous as Husk Varnas, King of Cool, on the cover of the August 1971 issue. Sports Illustrated Or in the movie every SundayBut historians argue that it is more important than either, as it was McQueen’s first husky and it began his relationship with the brand. “It represents an important moment in the history of motorsport and pop culture in general,” Rob Report said. Before turning to the bike, McQueen was mostly a Triumph man.He rode a Triumph TR6 in a famous chase scene from the 1963 Classic Great escape..

Photo: RM Sotheby’s

The Viking was the dominant bike at the time when it ran as well as it looked. At just £ 215, it’s light and lean. It’s still quite heavy for a dirt bike today. The previous large caliber husky burner two-stroke had a problem of overheating, but by 1968 the problem was almost resolved and Husky produced 37 horsepower. These were also not handmade specials for trucks. The racers ran them almost as they bought them from the showroom floor.

McQueen’s Viking 360 made a 14-month competition quality repair in 2014, addressing both mechanical and cosmetic issues. The bike is now a pristine vintage sample and is in full operation. From the 360cc engine to the 4-speed gearbox to the 32mm Bing carburetor, everything is original. The only important thing the restorer changed was to replace the original point type ignition with an electronic unit to facilitate booting and simplify maintenance. The point is pain, but don’t worry. If the new owner wanted to correct the 100% era, the original set went on sale.

The sale also included a document showing McQueen’s production company Solar Productions as a buyer, as well as a Utah title from (the owner of) the seller. Blacksmith garage), Says about this bike: “Steve McQueen owns quite a few bikes and seems to be on sale from time to time, but with more importance, paperwork, sources and pop culture than the MF-1987 (1968 360 Viking frame number). His bikes, if any, have had a huge impact on him. The MF-1987 is Steve McQueen’s collector’s dream. “

author: Bob whitby

Bob has been riding a motorcycle since the age of 19 and has been working as a journalist since the age of 24. That was a long time ago. Let’s say that. He quit most of the decade to raise his family and rediscovered adventure, dual sports and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-preserved secret when it comes to vehicle destinations, and travels far in search of dirt roads and trails. Steve McQueen’s first Husqvarna wins $ 204,000 at auction

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