STEVE McQUEEN’s 1971 HUSKY 400 CROSS UP FOR AUCTION | BUY IT NOW!

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June 13th, 1971– Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle in the Mojave Desert, get a good look at that old school Bell helmet — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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On May 14th, Bonhams will auction Steve McQueen’s iconic 1971 Husqvarna 400 cross motorcycle– along with various racing trophies won by the “King of cool” himself.  What’s that?  Husky who?

With its signature red and chrome glistening gas tank, the Husqvarna (or “Husky” as it’s affectionately known) was a stunning beauty of a bike, and a mud-slinging beast on the American motocross circuit. Back in the 1960s, the increasingly popular sport of American motocross was bogged down by clumsily modified (not to mention heavy) Harley-Davidson, Triumph & BSA road bikes.  It was lumbering in antiquity and in dire need of innovation.  Enter Edison Dye.

While on a motorcycle tour of Europe, Dye took particular note of European motocross and the lighter-weight, nimble, two-stroke bikes that were in stark contrast to the American scene.  Swedish maker Husqvarna particulary stood out with their alloy engine components, and distinctive exhaust.  He asked motorcycling legend Malcolm Smith (Steve McQueen’s riding chum in “On Any Sunday”) to take a Husky and put it through its paces for him.  Upon Smith’s glowing review, Edison Dye decided to sign on as Husqvarna’s U.S. importer.  The Screamin’ Swede was about to take American motocross by storm.

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June 13th, 1971– Steve McQueen riding his favorite motocross bike, the Husqvarna 400 Cross, in the Mojave Desert — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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The Husqvarna 400 Cross– The bike Steve McQueen made an overnight legend, and highly collectible.

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1971 Husqvarna 400 owned by Steve McQueen. Motorcycle, trophies and trunk – all owned by McQueen – to be auctioned 14 May 2011. — Photo by Bonhams & Butterfields.
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Related TSY posts:

STEVE McQUEEN REVIEWS THE HOTTEST NEW GT’s | 1966 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

STEVE McQUEEN ’66 POPULAR SCIENCE | WHAT I LIKE IN A BIKE –AND WHY

HUSQVARNA | THE SCREAMIN’ SWEDE THAT STARTED A RACING REVOLUTION

STEVE McQUEEN | HOLLYWOOD’S ANTI-HERO & TRUE SON OF LIBERTY

STEVE McQUEEN | LE MANS & BEYOND GRATUITOUS 1970s RACING GOODNESS

THE TSY FRIDAY FADE | STEVE MCQUEEN’S DUNE BUGGY DAYS

REQUIRED VIEWING “BULLITT” | THE GRANDDADDY OF CAR CHASE SCENES

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12 thoughts on “STEVE McQUEEN’s 1971 HUSKY 400 CROSS UP FOR AUCTION | BUY IT NOW!

    • Yep. I first thought that this must be the ’70 Husky up for auction, but who am I to question the folks at Bonhams. I’m sure they’ve done their homework.

  1. I remember watching Steve McQueen race at the Ponderosa in East Lancaster. We were in awe of him and all those racers like the Checkers, Desert Daisies, etc. All us kids were just starting out riding our dirt bikes in the desert.

  2. I couldn’t find the auction catalog online yet, but other sites have reported this is the bike with McQueen on the cover of the August 1971 issue of Sports Illustrated. Haven’t seen any mention of On Any Sunday which makes sense. Regardless, gorgeous bike with a lot of history. Thanks again.

  3. I love Huskys, I believe Steve is the King of Cool, however I have never understood the fascination with owning something that a famous dead person owned. And paying outrageous money to do it.

  4. we need to stop worshipping actors in this country seriously . and steve mcqueen was barely an actor . ” i’m the king of cool ” not mcqueen , mcqueen was just an overpaid actor. stop the aimless heroe worshipping in this country .

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