Thursday, May 5, 2011

Testing the Price of the McQueen Provenance


By Dexter Ford via :

The actor’s 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross, an off-road motorcycle he rode all over the Mojave Desert of Southern California — and onto the cover of Sports Illustrated — will be offered by the Bonhams auction house at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, Calif., on May 14.

As with all things McQueen, its value has little to do with the physical object and much to do with the provenance.

For example, a pair of his sunglasses worn from the film “The Thomas Crown Affair” sold at auction in 2006 for $70,200. In 2009, McQueen’s 1963 Triumph Bonneville also brought an outsized price. The desert-racing bike, built by Bud Ekins, the stunt rider who did the famous jump in the film “The Great Escape,” sold for $84,240.

A nicely restored ’70s-era Husky might bring as much as $8,000 on the vintage-motocross collectors’ circuit. A presale estimate from the auctioneers for the McQueen Husqvarna — the ownership is well documented, but it’s not known whether this was the magazine cover bike — ranges from $50,000 to $70,000.

The bike was bought from McQueen’s estate in 1984 by the Harrah’s Auto Collection. A collection of the actor’s trophies will also be offered at the auction.


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