Former Steve McQueen Motorbike Up For Auction: 1914 Indian Model F Racing For Sale April 28
By Staff Writer | April 10, 2013 12:28 PM EDT
A former Steve McQueen motorbike will be up for auction soon in England. The auction house Bonhams said it plans to sell a 1914 Indian Model F racing motorcycle owned by the late actor. They will be offering it for sale this April 28 at the International Classic MotorCycle Show in Stafford, England.
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The Bonhams’ plans to sell 242 motorcycles during the event, with one of them being the Model F, formerly owned by McQueen. Although it’s not the the rarest and doesn’t have the highest estimate, it’s connection and history with the late actor makes it a wild card and an interesting for-sale item. During the past decade, many of McQueen’s former cars and motorcycles have fetched many times their estimated value in auctions.
The Model F is an early board-track racer, which came from an era when motorcycle racing occurred on banked wooden tracks; the most popular way to do racing during that time.
The purpose-built bike and the machines the Model F competed against usually had no clutch, throttle or brakes. Back then they were push-started and ran “wide-open” at speeds up to 100 mph.
When the race ends, the rider would cut the magneto ignition to turn off the engine. Such procedures and way of maintaining a bike would seem outlandish today.
Ben Walker, head of Bonhams’ motorcycle department, said that, ““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.” Back then they would be riding the bikes up to 100 mph with no helmet or protective clothing, not to mention that there would be no brakes at all in their bikes. In this day, such racing culture will immediately be deemed a health hazard by the transportation department.
The 1914 Indian Model F to be auctioned off is estimated to fetch between $33,576 and $42,732.
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