Steve McQueen's 1923 Indian Big Chief
Steve McQueen’s 1923 Indian Big Chief

Steve McQueen’s Machines on the Block

Over the last few years, the most popular motorcycles to go on the block were once owned by Steve McQueen, the famed “King of Cool.” And this trend continues at Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction Saturday, Jan. 9, at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strop.

The motorcycles once owned by McQueen, who starred in the famed motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday,” were restored and customized by artist Von Dutch (né Kenny Howard).

On the block are two Indian and three Triumph motorcycles – a 1923 Indian Big Chief, a 1935 Chief, a 1949 Triumph Thunderbird, a 1961 Triumph TR5C and a 1964 Triumph TR6.

From Bonhams Press Release:

Replete with a double dose of heady provenance, a 1923 Indian Big Chief with Princess Sidecar owned by McQueen and fully restored by Von Dutch specifically for him is one of the motorcycles featured.

Unique in and of itself, this 74cu (1200cc) Indian was one of the most exclusive motorcycles of its day, capable of reaching speeds of 90mph. Sold at the Steve McQueen Estate Sale in Las Vegas in 1984, this authentic, beautifully restored machine even has Von Dutch’s personalized business card lacquered into the dash of the sidecar.

The other Indian motorcycle formerly owned by McQueen is a 1935 Indian Chief. Fast, powerful and iconic, this too was originally sold at the Steve McQueen Estate Sale in Las Vegas in 1984 and comes fully documented and in pristine condition.

Three Triumph motorcycles benefitting from the wholly distinct handiwork of Von Dutch – one of the fathers and the most prominent figure of “SoCal Kustom Kulture” – will also be represented: a 1949 Triumph Thunderbird Bobber featured in the definitive book The Art of Von Dutch, a 1961 Triumph TR5C custom painted in 1966, and a 1964 Triumph TR6 that features a pioneering and signature Von Dutch custom paint job as well as several unique modifications.

These and many more rare and exciting motorcycles – including the Silverman Museum Racing Collection of Ducatis and the Pierce Museum Collection of Harley-Davidsons – will be at the Bonhams Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction this Saturday at Ballys. For additional information, click here.