Steve McQueen Motorbike: How Much Will 'The Great Escape' Actor's Indian Model F Sell For At Motorcycle Auction? [VIDEO, PHOTOS & REPORT]
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Steve McQueen's motorbike could be yours, for the cool price of between £22,000 and £28,000, or $33,576 and $42,732. The Hollywood icon's 1914 Indian Model F motorbike is slated to be auctioned off in England later this month, April 2013. The actor, best known for his film The Great Escape, is putting the motorbike up for auction at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford.
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Bonhams, an auction house, said it plans to sell the Steve McQueen motorbike at its April 28 sale. This particular Indian Model F is one of just 242 motorcycles set to be up for auction during the Bonhams sale. Steve McQueen's isn't the rarest motorbike up for auction, and doesn't have the highest estimate.
However, Steve McQueen's connection to the motorbike could make the item a "wild card" in terms of how high a price it could fetch. Reportedly, a number of McQueen's former cars and motorycles have ended up fetching "many times their estimated value" in auctions over the past decade.
"This machine was a part of [Steve] McQueen's [motorbike] collection," said Ben Walker, head of Bonhams Motorcycle Department. "Rather than one he would have raced." Steve McQueen's motorbike, a true collector's item, would make any film buff's dreams come true.
Steve McQueen's motorbike is an early board-track racer from an era when motorcycles were raced on banked wooden tracks. The bikes were push-started and ran at speeds up to 100 mph, and the machines against which these motorbikes would compete generally had no clutch, throttle or breaks. At the end of the race, the motorbike rider would cut the magneto ignition to turn off the engine.
"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," said Walker. "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."
For those not interested in purchasing this Steve McQueen motorbike, they can still view the actor's Scott Flying Squirrel motorcycle, which is on display at Dale Winfield's motorcycle museum in Haslingden, Lancashire. The Scott Motorcycle Company first introduced this model of bike in 1926.
Steve McQueen's passion for motorbikes is long-running. He was known to pursue auto and motorcycle racing equally. McQueen and Peter Revson won in their class in the 12 Hours of Sebring Race of 1970. The car McQueen raced was used as a camera car in the film Le Mans.
Steve McQueen also competed in off-road motorcycle racing, often using the pseudonym Harvey Mushman. He raced in the '60s and '70s in races including the Baja 100, Mint 400, and Elsinore Grand Prix. McQueen represented the U.S. in the International Six Days Trial in 1964 and was inducted in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978.
Steve McQueen is known for his roles in such movies as The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Nevada Smith, and Papillion. The actor passed away on November 7, 1980 of a heart attack.