Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Ex Steve McQueen motorcycle to be sold at Bonhams

An early racing motorcycle, once owned by legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen, is being offered for sale by Bonhams at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford, UK, on Sunday 28th April.
Steve McQueen's 1914 Indian Model F will join machines from three collections as part of a two hundred and forty strong offering of Pioneer, Vintage and Collectors’ motorcycles at the Bonhams sale at the end of April 


Brakeless race bikes...ooer!

Steve McQueen's 1914 Indian Model F, which was part of McQueen's collection rather than one he actually raced, is estimated to fetch between £22,000 and £28,000.  It is an example of an early purpose-built board-track racing motorcycle, many of which had no clutch, throttle and brakes, and were push-started.  They were designed to run flat-out – often reaching speeds of up to 100mph – until the end of the race, when the rider would short the magneto to stall the engine as the only way to stop.

Steve McQueen was a keen motorcycle enthusiast and was a racer himself. He collected classic motorcycles and had a collection of over one hundred when he died.

Restored by a marque specialist, the 4hp machine was purchased by its current owner at a Bonhams auction in Carmel, California, USA, in May 2010, and has lived in his private collection ever since.
Head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, Ben Walker, said:

“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. In this age of health and safety the idea of riding at up to 100mph with no helmet or protective clothing, knowing you have no way of stopping in a hurry, is a terrifying thought – but this is what they did.”

Springtime in Stafford

The Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale will offer a total of two hundred and forty-two motorcycles, with many coming from private collections.
An eclectic selection of thirty-one machines owned by the late Clifford Jones features a number of 1950s ‘cafe racers’, as well as much modern-day racing and superbike machinery, including several Ducati 916 Sennas and 999 Desmosedici Casey Stoner Replicas.

Some twenty-eight motorcycles from another single-owner collection include fifteen Triumphs, from a 1953 Speed Twin to a 1982 TSX, with estimates ranging between £2,000 and £8,000.

Three is a magic number 

Among other sale highlights is a trio of Broughs – including a:

* 1926 Brough Superior SS80/100 (estimate £160,000 - £200,000)
* A 1931 SS80 (estimate £50,000 - £70,000)
* An early Brough, a 1921 Model G estimated at £20,000 - £30,000

Meanwhile the fully-restored ex-works Vincent Black Shadow which formed part of the factory’s bid to set a new twenty-four hour speed record at Montlhéry in France in May 1952 is expectedto fetch between £110,000 and £130,000.
Among an array of Pioneer machines on offer are:

* 1913 Excelsior 61ci Model 7C Twin from a significant private collection (estimate £35,000 - £45,000)
* A fully-restored 1913 Rex 896cc V-twin (estimate £18,000 - £22,000)
* A restored 1905 Peugeot 3½hp V-twin (estimate £18,000 - £22,000) 

Ben Walker continued: 

“We are delighted to return to Stafford with another wide and eclectic offering of important motorcycles, ‘barn-find’ restoration projects and affordable classics.”

To view the online catalogue for this auction visit:


Lots to buy!

The sale will take place at the Staffordshire County Showground, ST18 0BD. Lots included in the auction will be available to view between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 27th April, and from 9am on Sunday 28th April.


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