Motorcycles

How Steve McQueen dominated motorcycle sales during Monterey Car Week

How Steve McQueen dominated mo...
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
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This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000
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This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium
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This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium
This 1903 Mitchell will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F98) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000
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This 1903 Mitchell will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F98) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000
This 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F96) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000 and was bid to $65,000 before being passed in
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This 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F96) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000 and was bid to $65,000 before being passed in
This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
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This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in
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This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in
This 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120 will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 301) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000
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This 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120 will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 301) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
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This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
This 1902 Norton went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot T93) on 12-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000 but failed to sell when it was bid to just $25,000
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This 1902 Norton went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot T93) on 12-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000 but failed to sell when it was bid to just $25,000
This 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot S115) on 14-August-2021 with no official estimate (charity auction)
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This 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot S115) on 14-August-2021 with no official estimate (charity auction)
Swedish-born Bengt Åberg spent his whole life pioneering new motorcycle adventures. He was one of the first to follow the money from Europe to America, returning at the peak of his career to win the World 500cc Motocross World Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 1968 he was part of the Swedish team that won the Trophée des Nations and he was a member of the Swedish teams that won the Motocross des Nations in 1970, 1971, and 1974. He was a member of the Husqvarna factory racing team from 1969 to 1973 and the Bultaco factory racing team from 1974 to 1976. Having pioneered two-strokes in American racing, he then set out to achieve the opposite, competing in the World Championships against all the two-strokes on a four-stroke Yamaha XT500 built in collaboration with former world champions Torsten Hallman and Sten Lundin.Åberg rode the bike to a victory in the first moto of the 1977 500cc Luxembourg Grand Prix though he finished the season ranked ninth in the final world championship standings. Though he finished his international career in 1979, he never stopped racing at a local level, and in 1995, he won the Swedish ice speedway national championships. Having a bike that was raced by Bengt Åberg is almost as significant as a bike raced by Steve McQueen. Aberg is one of the all-time greats of motorcycle racing.
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Swedish-born Bengt Åberg spent his whole life pioneering new motorcycle adventures. He was one of the first to follow the money from Europe to America, returning at the peak of his career to win the World 500cc Motocross World Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 1968 he was part of the Swedish team that won the Trophée des Nations and he was a member of the Swedish teams that won the Motocross des Nations in 1970, 1971, and 1974. He was a member of the Husqvarna factory racing team from 1969 to 1973 and the Bultaco factory racing team from 1974 to 1976. Having pioneered two-strokes in American racing, he then set out to achieve the opposite, competing in the World Championships against all the two-strokes on a four-stroke Yamaha XT500 built in collaboration with former world champions Torsten Hallman and Sten Lundin.Åberg rode the bike to a victory in the first moto of the 1977 500cc Luxembourg Grand Prix though he finished the season ranked ninth in the final world championship standings. Though he finished his international career in 1979, he never stopped racing at a local level, and in 1995, he won the Swedish ice speedway national championships. Having a bike that was raced by Bengt Åberg is almost as significant as a bike raced by Steve McQueen. Aberg is one of the all-time greats of motorcycle racing.
This is the remarkable and true story of how a motorcycle sold for $1500 in 2008 without anyone knowing it had been owned by the world's highest-paid actor, then went to auction in 2013 with the McQueen connection proven, but it couldn't meet the $80,000 reserve price. In 2018 though, the bike went to auction with irrefutable evidence that it was the motorcycle ridden by McQueen in the cult movie, On Any Sunday, and the records tumbled. That's Malcolm Smith, Steve and Mert Lawwill during the filming of the movie.
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This is the remarkable and true story of how a motorcycle sold for $1500 in 2008 without anyone knowing it had been owned by the world's highest-paid actor, then went to auction in 2013 with the McQueen connection proven, but it couldn't meet the $80,000 reserve price. In 2018 though, the bike went to auction with irrefutable evidence that it was the motorcycle ridden by McQueen in the cult movie, On Any Sunday, and the records tumbled. That's Malcolm Smith, Steve and Mert Lawwill during the filming of the movie.

This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
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This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
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This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
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This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
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This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
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This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium
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This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium
This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in
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This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in
This 1914 Harley-Davidson Model 10-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $90,000, selling for $101,200 including buyers premium
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This 1914 Harley-Davidson Model 10-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $90,000, selling for $101,200 including buyers premium
This 1975 Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Track Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F2.1) on 13-August-2021 and sold for $44,000
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This 1975 Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Track Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F2.1) on 13-August-2021 and sold for $44,000
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
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This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
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This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
View gallery - 30 images

Actor Steve McQueen may have died 40 years ago, but his brand value remains as authentic and strong as ever, as was proven during the 2021 Monterey Car Week auctions.

Monterey Car Week is a celebration of every type of automotive heritage, and mainstream motorcycles are not the focus. In the accompanying auctions though, elite motorcycles are always well represented because vendors recognize that the Monterey audience is the largest and most monied group of gearheads in the world.

The motorcycles sold at auction during Monterey Car Week are always overshadowed in money terms by their four-wheeled brethren, but such is the sheer magnitude of money at Monterey Car Auctions, motorcycles sometimes sell for prices well beyond the norm.

Indeed, Monterey Car Week is behind only the January Las Vegas and Bonhams' Autumn and Winter Staffordshire auctions in the United Kingdom in the number of very expensive motorcycles sold each year.

Based on the official estimates, there were seven motorcycles capable of selling for $100,000 or more in Monterey this year, and one capable of selling for more than $500,000.

The big-ticket items failed to meet reserve this year and an astonishing thing happened – a two-stroke motorcycle topped the sales at a major auction cluster. It was a perfect example of the power of the Steve McQueen brand and its ability to influence auction prices.

Firstly, collectors HATE two-strokes. In the top 1000 most valuable motorcycles sold at auction, there are just 13 two-strokes, and they are all of remarkable provenance. The most expensive two-stroke ever sold is a 1929 Scott Flying Squirrel that sold for $276,000 at Antiquorum New York in June 2009. It had previously been restored by Von Dutch and owned by Steve McQueen. The second most expensive two-stroke ever sold was the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross that Steve McQueen rode in the movie On Any Sunday (Bonhams | $230,500 | 6 October 2018).

This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000

The 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 that went to auction at RM-Sotheby's during Monterey Car Week sold for $204,000. It had been previously owned by Steve McQueen and World Motocross Champion Bengt Aberg, and that price made it the third most expensive two-stroke ever sold at auction, displacing the 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross sold by Bonhams on 14 May 2011 for $144,500. That bike had previously been owned by Steve McQueen too. So subsequent to this auction, McQueen is now responsible for the four most valuable two-strokes ever sold at auction.

This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.

Just to emphasize how powerful the McQueen brand is, RM-Sotheby's also auctioned a Solex 3800 moped with a 50cc two-stroke engine that was used by Steve McQueen to get around the film set for Le Mans in March 1970. The bike that without McQueen provenance would sell for just a few hundred dollars, fetched $66,000 and just missed out on a spot in the top 1000 motorcycles ever sold. It also became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold.

Here's a quick rundown of all the major motorcycle sales at Monterey this year.

No sale: 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin

This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000
This 1938 Vincent HRD Series A Twin went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F142) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and was passed in after a high bid of $200,000

High Bid: $200,000
Estimate: $400,000 - $500,000
Mecum | Lot F142 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
There are three pre-WW2 motorcycles guaranteed to fetch extraordinary sums at auction, with a fourth now looming: a Brough Superior V-twin, a Crocker V-twin, a Vincent-HRD V-twin and more recently the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. There were just 78 Vincent-HRD Series-A Rapide V-twins built prior to WW2 and they rarely reach auction. Those that have reached reserve, going backwards in time over the last decade, sold for $326,988 in November 2016, $389,332 in April 2016, $195,990 in October 2015, $418,940 in April 2015, and $366,775 in April 2012.

The number of extant pre-war Rapides is on a par with the number of Crocker V-twins, but Crocker sales over the last five years have reached far greater heights: $825,000, $715,000, $550,000, $423,500, $704,000 in that order in 2019 (sooner first), $371,800 in 2016, $385,000 in 2015, and $291,000, $302,000 and $302,000 in 2012.
The results generally show Crocker prices have gone up, whereas Series-A Rapides have not ... hence, the potential was there for a big result but the mixed frame and engine numbers obviously scared off the investors, and the high reserve was a bit rich for the riders.

No Sale | 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore

This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.
This 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 90 Bore will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F92) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $275,000 to $350,000 and failed to meet reserve after a high bid of $250,000.

High Bid: $250,000
Estimate: $275,000 - $350,000
Mecum | Lot F92 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
This bike was largely unknown until Melbourne’s MotorClassica in October 2019, when it appeared and took out a class award. It had been built over the previous year from a basketcase, wowed the public at its first public outing and then sold for the highest amount ($308,000) of any bike during the Las Vegas auctions in January 2020. Rare and beautifully restored, it was the star of the last major motorcycle auctions prior to the pandemic. Still as beautiful as ever, still as rare as hell, but the fickle nature of auctions we displayed in the result when the bike sailed to sell after a high bid of $250,000.

$148,500 | 1953 Vincent Black Shadow

This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium
This 1953 Vincent Black Shadow went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F14) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $150,000 to $175,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $135,000, which equates to a total price of $148,500 including buyers premium

Estimate: $150,000 - $175,000
Mecum | Lot F14 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
You do not win “The Quail” with anything less than a spectacular motorcycle, and this bike has won it twice: once at a motorcycle show and one time at a car show. We can count 47 Vincent Black Shadows that have fetched more than $100,000, but only two that have sold for more than this bike’s $175,000 upper estimate: one of the Montlhéry speed record bikes that fetched £113,500 ($175,698) in 2013 and the model record stands at $202,824 (£124,700) set in 2012 for a 1955 model that was the last one off the production line.

$100,100 | 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer

This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium
This 1917 Henderson 4-Cylinder Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F95) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000. The bike sold for a hammer price of $91,000 which equates to a total price of $100,100 including buyers premium

Estimate: $85,000 - $100,000
Mecum | Lot F95 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
This 1917 Henderson board track racer has an original factory frame, forks and engine and has been the recipient of an extensive restoration. The engine and magneto have been rebuilt, the hand-rubbed paint job is spectacular, the brightwork is triple-plated nickel, all nuts and bolts are period correct, and the bike is ready to rock ... or at least it would be if you had a board track.

$101,200 | Lot T161 | 1914 Harley-Davidson Model 10F Two Speed

This 1914 Harley-Davidson Model 10-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $90,000, selling for $101,200 including buyers premium
This 1914 Harley-Davidson Model 10-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $90,000, selling for $101,200 including buyers premium

Estimate: $75,000 - $90,000
Mecum | Lot T161 | 12-August-2021
Detailed Description and images

No Sale: 1902 Norton

This 1902 Norton went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot T93) on 12-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000 but failed to sell when it was bid to just $25,000
This 1902 Norton went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot T93) on 12-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000 but failed to sell when it was bid to just $25,000

High Bid: $25,000
Estimate: $75,000 - $100,000
Mecum | Lot T93 | 12-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
In the Las Vegas sale earlier this year, this motorcycle achieved a high bid of just $32,000 and was passed in. This bike is one of just three known survivors from the first year of Norton's motorcycle manufacture and one of just three known survivors from the first year of the famous marque. Despite being one of the oldest, if not the oldest Norton in existence, this time around it was bid to just $25,000.No

No Sale | 1903 Mitchell

This 1903 Mitchell will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F98) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000
This 1903 Mitchell will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F98) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $75,000 to $100,000

High Bid: $45,000
Estimate: $75,000 - $100,000
Mecum | Lot F98 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
We're guessing it is not a coincidence that the 1902 Norton and this 1903 Mitchell attracted little interest, despite both being important artifacts of motorcycle history. Like the Norton, this 120-year-old American motorcycle has been to auction twice before in Las Vegas with Mecum in both 2020 and 2021, being passed in well short of its reserve both times.

No sale | 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11F

This 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F96) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000 and was bid to $65,000 before being passed in
This 1915 Harley-Davidson Model 11-F went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F96) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $85,000 to $100,000 and was bid to $65,000 before being passed in

High Bid: $65,000
Estimate: $85,000 - $100,000
Mecum | Lot F96 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
1915 was somewhat of a watershed year for the Harley-Davidson marque, mainly because of the fitting of a three-speed gearbox that immediately made the 1000cc F-head V-twin infinitely more useable. Just as there will be many COVID babies because of our global enforced lockdown, this is a mechanical COVID baby in that if COVID-19 hadn’t caused the need for long shelter-in-place orders, it would still be in pieces in the shed. The 1915 Harley Davison 11-F was discovered disassembled on a farm in Nebraska in the early 1970s. It remained in bits and was onsold at the Davenport AMCA swap meet in 1996, going back into storage until 2020 when shelter-in-place presented an opportunity to complete the restoration some 50 years after it had been rediscovered. The painstakingly accurate restoration was completed on June 1, 2021. The wonder of the "basketcase" and the "barn find" all rolled together certainly looks like a fairy story viewed with reference to the finished machine – when you have all the original bits to work with, you can get pretty close to a new motorcycle second time around.

$204,000 | 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360

This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000
This 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 was owned by Steve McQueen and twice world MX champ Bengt Aberg. It went to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 202) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $100,000 and sold for $204,000

Estimate: $80,000 - $100,000
RM-Sotheby's | Lot 202 | 14-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
Steve McQueen went to watch some motocross racing in 1968 where he witnessed visiting Swedish motocross rider Bengt Åberg dominate proceedings on his new two-stroke Viking 360 Husqvarna.

Swedish-born Bengt Åberg spent his whole life pioneering new motorcycle adventures. He was one of the first to follow the money from Europe to America, returning at the peak of his career to win the World 500cc Motocross World Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 1968 he was part of the Swedish team that won the Trophée des Nations and he was a member of the Swedish teams that won the Motocross des Nations in 1970, 1971, and 1974. He was a member of the Husqvarna factory racing team from 1969 to 1973 and the Bultaco factory racing team from 1974 to 1976. Having pioneered two-strokes in American racing, he then set out to achieve the opposite, competing in the World Championships against all the two-strokes on a four-stroke Yamaha XT500 built in collaboration with former world champions Torsten Hallman and Sten Lundin.Åberg rode the bike to a victory in the first moto of the 1977 500cc Luxembourg Grand Prix though he finished the season ranked ninth in the final world championship standings. Though he finished his international career in 1979, he never stopped racing at a local level, and in 1995, he won the Swedish ice speedway national championships. Having a bike that was raced by Bengt Åberg is almost as significant as a bike raced by Steve McQueen. Aberg is one of the all-time greats of motorcycle racing.
Swedish-born Bengt Åberg spent his whole life pioneering new motorcycle adventures. He was one of the first to follow the money from Europe to America, returning at the peak of his career to win the World 500cc Motocross World Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 1968 he was part of the Swedish team that won the Trophée des Nations and he was a member of the Swedish teams that won the Motocross des Nations in 1970, 1971, and 1974. He was a member of the Husqvarna factory racing team from 1969 to 1973 and the Bultaco factory racing team from 1974 to 1976. Having pioneered two-strokes in American racing, he then set out to achieve the opposite, competing in the World Championships against all the two-strokes on a four-stroke Yamaha XT500 built in collaboration with former world champions Torsten Hallman and Sten Lundin.Åberg rode the bike to a victory in the first moto of the 1977 500cc Luxembourg Grand Prix though he finished the season ranked ninth in the final world championship standings. Though he finished his international career in 1979, he never stopped racing at a local level, and in 1995, he won the Swedish ice speedway national championships. Having a bike that was raced by Bengt Åberg is almost as significant as a bike raced by Steve McQueen. Aberg is one of the all-time greats of motorcycle racing.

McQueen went to see Åberg after the event and purchased the bike, becoming so enamored with two-stroke performance that he became a Husqvarna devotee, riding the marque in the movie On Any Sunday and throughout the latter half of his competition career.

This is the remarkable and true story of how a motorcycle sold for $1500 in 2008 without anyone knowing it had been owned by the world's highest-paid actor, then went to auction in 2013 with the McQueen connection proven, but it couldn't meet the $80,000 reserve price. In 2018 though, the bike went to auction with irrefutable evidence that it was the motorcycle ridden by McQueen in the cult movie, On Any Sunday, and the records tumbled. That's Malcolm Smith, Steve and Mert Lawwill during the filming of the movie.
This is the remarkable and true story of how a motorcycle sold for $1500 in 2008 without anyone knowing it had been owned by the world's highest-paid actor, then went to auction in 2013 with the McQueen connection proven, but it couldn't meet the $80,000 reserve price. In 2018 though, the bike went to auction with irrefutable evidence that it was the motorcycle ridden by McQueen in the cult movie, On Any Sunday, and the records tumbled. That's Malcolm Smith, Steve and Mert Lawwill during the filming of the movie.

McQueen motorcycles and cars pepper the world's most expensive auction sale listings and he's responsible for all the two-strokes at the top end of the listings. Fetching $230,500 at Bonhams Barber Museum Sale on October 6, 2018, the 400cc two-stroke single became the most expensive Husqvarna ever sold (previously another ex-McQueen 400 Cross at $144,500), the most expensive motocross bike ever sold (the same bike - $144,500), the most expensive dirt bike ever sold (previous record $181,500 for a 1930 Harley-Davidson Factory DAH hillclimber), and the second most expensive two-stroke motorcycle ever sold.

The Husqvarna Viking 360 that is going to auction in Monterey was subject to a 14-month restoration completed in 2014, addressing both its cosmetics and its mechanical components, including its single-cylinder, two-stroke engine and four-speed gearbox. This bike could easily sell for far more than the estimate because it has two significant larger-than-life characters in its resume, and is arguably a more significant motorcycle than the one which fetched $144,500.

No Sale | 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B

This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in
This 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA/B went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F110) on 13-August-2021 with an official estimate of $80,000 to $90,000. It received a high bid of $56,000 and was passed in

High Bid: $56,000
Estimate: $80,000 - $90,000
Mecum | Lot F110 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
This is a 97-year-old experimental Harley-Davidson factory racer, restored to perfection and with its back story beautifully described in the auction description. Surprisingly, the bike did not get anywhere near its reserve price and failed to sell.

$102,000 | 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120

This 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120 will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 301) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000
This 1970 Triumph Bonneville TR120 will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 301) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000

Estimate: $40,000 - $50,000
RM-Sothebys | Lot 301 | 14-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
Triumph twins have not fared well at auction mainly because they were produced in such vast quantities. Those that have sold for more than $50,000 generally have significant provenance such as Bud Ekins, Arthur Fonzarelli (from Happy Days) or Steve McQueen. This bike has two of those three in its priors, with Ekins selling this Bonneville TR120 to McQueen (via his production company, Solar Productions) on 9 June 1970. The bike underwent a full restoration in 2016 and hasn’t been ridden since. As we suggested in the preview, "this bike might easily double its estimate", which is exactly what it did. The record for a Triumph at auction is held by Fonzie's 1949 Triumph TR5 from the Happy Days TV show which sold for $179,000 and the second-highest price ever fetched by a Triumph was $175,500 for a 1938 Triumph 500cc 5T Speed Twin once owned by ... you guessed it ... Steve McQueen. If the Triumph used to jump the fence in The Great Escape movie ever went to auction, we think there would be a Triumph record that would stand forever.

1970 Solex 3800

This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.
This 1970 Solex 3800 wento to auction during Monterey Car Week with RM-Sotheby's (Lot 329) on 14-August-2021 with an official estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It fetched $66,000 and became the 14th most valuable two-stroke ever sold at auction.

Estimate: $40,000 - $50,000
RM-Sothebys | Lot 329 | 14-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
This is another two-wheeler that will most likely be blessed by the McQueen “Midas Touch.” It’s a Solex 3800 moped with a 50cc two-stroke engine that was used by Steve McQueen to get around the film set for Le Mans in March 1970, and it has an official guideline of $40,000 to $50,000. If that seems excessive to you, bear in mind that a 1970 Kawasaki 125cc Centurian used during the filming of Le Mans fetched US$55,575 at auction in 2007. Maybe it will set a new price record for a 50cc motorcycle? There’s very little chance of that either as the record price paid for a 50cc motorcycle is held by a rusting Taiwanese Kymco Agility scooter that sold for £91,000 (US$114,291) at an auction in 2019.

$44,000 | 1975 Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Track Racer Replica

This 1975 Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Track Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F2.1) on 13-August-2021 and sold for $44,000
This 1975 Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Track Racer went to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot F2.1) on 13-August-2021 and sold for $44,000

Estimate: unknown
Mecum | Lot 2.1 | 13-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
For those who don't know the story, Kenny Roberts was contracted to Yamaha America for the 1975 season and Yamaha did not have a motorcycle suitable for him to compete in half mile and mile events and eventually they decided to try his 750 four-cylinder TZ750 motor in a special dirt track frame, resulting in Roberts being entered in the mile race at Indianapolis on Saturday 23 August 1975. The long story is well elucidated here and quoting from that story:

Kenny Roberts easily recalls that first outing: “The first time I came out of Turn 4 on the first lap, I moved on the handlebars to get some grip and the thing jumped into the air. And I damn near looped it! I thought holy shit, this thing is going to hurt me if I don’t pay attention ...

In one of the all-time great rides, Roberts won on a bike that had so much more horsepower it was almost unrideable, famously saying afterwards, “They don't pay me enough to ride that thing!"

Some time later, Roberts confessed that he had voted to ban the machine: That wasn’t the right motorcycle for its time because it was going to kill someone, and I didn’t want that to be me!

The bike was banned after just two races, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of replicas of the infamous Yamaha TZ750 Dirt Tracker out there in the wilds of America.

So firstly, in relation to this auction, it must be remembered that the bike only raced twice, it only won once, and that was in the hands of the immortal King Kenny Roberts. No-one else got near being able to ride the bike competitively, and if you're not an international class flat-tracker, there's a very good chance that riding this bike will get you seriously hurt. Hence, because of the lethality that the average motorcycle racer understands lurks within this thing, people aren't exactly queuing up to pay big bucks for a replica. The Roberts bike has never gone to auction and the most we've ever seen paid for anything like this was a bike that was a dead ringer for the Roberts original with paintwork to match and that fetched $66,000. This auction bike appears to be the same bike that has been to auction twice before, in Indianapolis in 2015 (high bid $65,000) and in Las Vegas in 2016 (also high bid $65,000). The point to remember here, is that this bike is a two-stroke and two-strokes do not get big money at auction. Had either of those bids been accepted five years ago, the bike would have become one of the ten most expensive two-strokes ever sold at auction.

$55,000 | 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition

This 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot S115) on 14-August-2021 with no official estimate (charity auction)
This 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition will go to auction during Monterey Car Week with Mecum Auctions (Lot S115) on 14-August-2021 with no official estimate (charity auction)

Estimate: no estimate (charity)
Mecum | Lot S115 | 14-August-2021
Detailed Description and images
Charity auctions are strange affairs where people with big bank accounts and big hearts throw all common sense out the window and pay outrageous sums for objects, then claim the expense on their tax. It's a win-win for everyone. This 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition was donated by Triumph Motorcycles with all proceeds to benefit Boys Republic, a non-profit treatment community for troubled youngsters located in Chino Hills, California. Steve McQueen was a 1946 alumnus of The Boys Republic and attributes the organization with having turned his life around. At $55,000, this bike became the eighth-most expensive Triumph ever sold at auction.

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4 comments
4 comments
Worzel
I am mystified, as to why someone would pay so much more for a motorcycle, or anything else for that matter, just because it was previously owned by someone famous. Whatever it is, it will be no different from all the others sold at the same time. unless it was specially prepared. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Still the cult of personality for a man dead now for forty-one years.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Worzel, Sheep with money.
Lee Bell
I wish someone would bring that small moped back on the market. I would love to have one of those. Not that one on auction though. I want one I can actually ride around on.