Steve McQueen, legendary not just for being the most famous and highest paid actor of his time but also for his love of racing cars and motorcycles, had a special affection for the Indian brand and Bonhams has been entrusted to represent two Indians formerly owned by McQueen, one of which was restored by his good friend Von Dutch.
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 benefiting from the wholly distinct handiwork of Von Dutch 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 on Thursday, 9 January at Bally’s Hotel & Casino on The Strip.